CeciliaOur Father Abraham always used to say to us “if you want to give help to the poor parents, give them meaningful jobs like food production (vegetables, milk, egg, meat), tree planting(memorial forest for clean environment) construction (to build homes for the poor.” He used to take care of the poor children by putting them in his own St Alphonsus School.
We cannot love the mob of poor in general. We ordinary people do that. Only Saints like Mother Teresa and extra ordinary late Father Abraham could love the poor. Father Abe knew all his poultry students, their parents, staff and workers. And he loved them all. But I love this individual poor boy or girl, this poor young man or woman, this poor family. But how to help them!
Last year I learnt a lesson from a ten year boy, Amrit (I’m late again to share this). He comes from a remote and cut off area called Lalmatti (red soil). This place was cut off for almost 9 years because there was a massive landslide on the main road. It is obviously a poor area. He had gone home for winter holiday for a month. When he came back he was sad. He told me his father broke his hand and couldn’t fetch water. I didn’t pay much attention because there are nuns who can take care of that.
Two weeks later I got a call from his school. Sister Headmistress told me that Amrit didn’t bring any books that day but his school bag was full of his clothes. He wanted to go home. So Sister sent him with two older boys to me. I asked him why do you want to go home. He again told me that his father broke his hand, and he cannot fetch water. I tried to explain to him that if you go home how will your father take care of you and your younger brother and go looking for work (they don’t have mother). I asked, Do you want to go home or shall we bring your brother here. His immediate answer was, bring him here, he must be hungry. After that he looked so relaxed and beamed with a smile. What a burden it was on his young mind. I sent word to his father and he brought Avishake to our Morning Star family. He is in KG( kinder garden). All the children love him and take care of him. Amrit taught me how to love and get help for our poor brothers and sisters in need.
This year four of my young people finished their class ten and twelve exams. Upashna, Sachin James and Chogel finished their class ten and Priyanka Elizabeth and Amy finished their class twelve. They want to stand on their own feet. Without any training they cannot do that. Sachin James and Chogel tried to do that. Who will hire them without any training? So they came back.
Amy wants to go to Nav Jeevan Nursing School in the plains run by the Sisters of Daughters of the Cross. It is a three year course and expensive too. She is a sensible young woman. How do I help her!
Upashna, Priyanka, Sachin James and Chogel wants do a three month hospitality course in Don Bosco, Kalimpong. Placements are guaranteed. It is less expensive than the nursing school. How do I help my children!
I wonder with awe how our late Rev Father Abraham all his life till the end fed the hungry poor people, provided them shelter, gave them meaningful work to take care of their children and the environment. It sure was a miraculous three-way partnership, Rev Fr Abraham’s hard work, charisma and love for the poor of Kurseong, Heavenly Father’s blessings and support and contribution of the faithful friends and supporters of Canada, which did wondrous works among the poor for so many years.
It is seven years now since the late Rev Father Abraham SJ and Rev Fr John Lobo SJ (Province Treasurer) have re-founded SOJASI with the support of late Rev Father Webb SJ, Director and Ms Jenny Cafiso, Director, CJI in Canada. During these seven years we did a lot of renovation works in the centre and Morning Star Home. We gave training on SMVG, Oyster mushroom production to a thousand village farmers from Sikkim, Mirik and from the plains.
We planted thousands of trees for our reforestation programs, hosted several awareness programs on reforestation, animal husbandry and agriculture for the local farmers and self help groups in collaboration with the government officials.
Every winter we host a month long Rev Fr Abraham Memorial program for 65 poor school-going village children at SOJASI. We provide them hot tea, curry and buns every day. They get spoken English classes/reading-writing and the older ones get basic computer knowledge. At the end they put up a cultural show to end the program.
We have twenty casual workers who are old, handicapped, widowed and weak people. They do what they can and get paid for the day. It’s not really a handout. This way they feel good.
We have 17 poor children and myself, Barri (Aunt:mother’s big sister) in the Morning Star Home. Morning Star home is fully charity. We eat simple food but enough at Morning Star. Tea/bread –jam or gram for breakfast. Rice/dal (lentil) and vegetable curry for lunch/dinner. We eat meat or fish once a week. Eggs thrice a week. When we have guests we make special meals suitable for them because we believe that “athithi dev vawa” which means “guests are gods.” And our guests are our gods who provide for us.
During these years eight of the young people finished schools and are on their own now. They are on their feet.
So far our Lord had been very kind and loving to us. So are you who constantly love us and supporting our work for the poor. We pray that our Father Abraham’s legacy of three-way partnership will live strongly forever so that we can support and help as much as our poor brother and sister in need for our Heavenly Father’s praise and Glory.

Your sister in need.