On a First Sunday

Navjyoti compound in Shapur becomes alive with people of all sorts on every first Sunday of the month. The elders of the area come for medical check-up on every first Sunday. Kiran Kaniyamkandathil, SCN, is in contact with seventeen senior citizens out of which five came for their routine check-up on April 6. Many of them have unresolved health issues. They looked physically weak and hungry. Most of all, they want someone to share with, their pain of rejection, isolation and loneliness. When Sister Kiran asked them to share what they are going through they were more than willing to pour out their woes. Sister Kiran is the right person with a keen sense of listening, a compassionate heart to touch the lives of these elders who rely on her, for their every need.

One of the old ladies shared that once she was extremely sick and needed an operation. Her son brought her to the veranda of Navjyoti Health Centre and left, leaving her behind to die. Actually, they had escaped from a private medical clinic without paying for their expenses since they had no money. She had two tubes on her. As someone informed Sister Kiran, she contacted her son and took the old lady to the nearest mission hospital at Madhepura. After a few days of stay in the hospital, the lady felt better and was discharged from the hospital. In gratitude, she brought some sweet potatoes for Sister Kiran for her services.

Another old lady, who needs frequent medical attention, pays for her expenses with whatever she has in her garden, like turmeric powder, garlic, corn and various seasonal gourds. She is a person of dignity. This is her way of showing gratitude for the services Sister Kiran provides for her.

At the end of the sharing, all were given some sweets and bread to eat. Sister Kiran did the routine medical check-up. All were given minimum required medicines at free of cost. 

The Catholic Mahila Sabha (women’ group) gathers to pray and discuss issues affecting the Catholic women of the parish on every first Sunday of the month. In the all-purpose hall of Navjyoti, Archana Valiaparambil, SCN, was busy with around 13 women with their report book and a photo of Mother Mary, for their monthly meeting.

Navjyoti School works for 7 days a week, though the school is formally closed from Saturday noon for the weekend. Saturday being a marketing day, the parents drop in to meet their children in the hostel and to pay the fees. Leena Toppo, SCN, after the Sunday Mass and meeting the parishioners rushes back to open the School. On Sundays, many parents including Catholics visit their children in the hostel and pay the fees. Jonice Lepcha, SCN, the hostel assistant, is kept busy throughout Sunday in attending to people who drop into the hostel.

For the SCNs at Shapur, Sunday, the day set apart for prayer and rest, is for being available to the people throughout the day. On Monday morning, they look energetic and refreshed ready to begin a new. I am amazed at what keeps them going with such enthusiasm and readiness to serve the people of God without even a weekly off for rest.

Malini Manjoly, SCN

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