St. Camillus Feast & 19th Annual Day of ‘Snehasadan’- A Care Home Ensuring Human Dignity in Given Reality
- The mission of ‘Snehasadan” is to be a positive force in addressing the comprehensive needs of the sick, ensuring their dignity and overall quality of life, by motivating, caring, supporting and rehabilitating, with a priority for the care of special children. Their vision is to bring total health to all and to promote a culture of life ensuring human dignity in the given reality. Their core values are- Care, Compassion, Commitment and Competence.
Mangaluru: “This is my vocation, this is my resolution and my entire purpose, to serve the poor sick, as serving my kings and princess, because in serving them I serve Christ our Redeemer”- had said St Camillus de Lellis, the Founder and patron of the Camillian Order who are called to serve their brothers and sisters-this means helping them to stand up and walk on their own, exercising their fear of the unknown and expanding their minds through education. It entails feeding them when they are too weak to feed themselves, opening their eyes to the realities of life, challenging them to let go of hurts and prejudices and liberating them to even-greater horizons of transcendence and beauty.
This is how the Camillians continue the healing ministry of Jesus so that ‘the blind see again, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and deaf hear, dead are raised to life-the good news is proclaimed to the poor (Luke 7:22). “Snehasadan” – a St Camillus Care Home located at Kaikamba, in the outskirts of Mangaluru is run by the Camillian Fathers, who take care of the adults and children affected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Currently, there are 39 residential children and 10 adults, who are being cared for by the Camillian priests and staff. ‘Snehasadan’ functions as one of the care and support initiatives of Sneha Charitable Trust owned and operated by Ministers of the Infirm (Camillians)-India. “Snehasadan” take pride core in values” Care, Compassion, Commitment and Competence. Its vision is to ensure human dignity in the given reality.
At present ‘Snehasadan’ has 65 beds facility for the inmates. The 2 acres land where the Snehasadan was built was donated by Entrepreneur/MD of Eden Club., Mangaluru-Eugene Rent and family. ‘Snehasadan’ which was established in the year 2001, since then the community of this organization along with the staff, volunteers, donors and well-wishers have rendered selfless service to the less fortunate in the society by becoming eyes to the blind, feet to the lame (Job 29:15) and by becoming the true witnesses of the merciful love to these poor sick children and adults. For their selfless service, dedication, commitment, sacrifice, and love to these less fortunate folks, the government presented “Snehasadan” with Karnataka State Award for its service to the welfare of Children on Children’s Day (14 November 2105) in Bengaluru.
The solemnization of the Festal celebration at Snehasadan on 20th July at 6; 00 pm. began with thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration presided over by Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese, along with Rev. Fr Baby Ellickal MI, Provincial of Camillians, India, and many other priests from Camillians and Mangaluru Diocese. Many well-wishers, benefactors and neighbours, around 450 joined the celebration. The Mass was followed by a short and meaningful stage programme.. Fr Teji Thomas MI, Director of Snehasadan welcomed the dignitaries, while Sneha-kids welcomed them with a bouquet of flowers.
Guests seated on the dais were- Eugene Rent (Philanthropist), Rev Fr Baby Ellickal MI (Provincial Camillians), Sr Rose Celine BS (Superior General-Bethany Sisters), Fr Antony Lobo (Vicar of Pompei Church), Sr Juliet Lobo SRA (Provincial-Queen of Apostles Congregation), Sr Jancy DSC (Director, Jeevadan), Fr Teji Thomas MI ( Director-Snehasadan)and Fr Jomin Thomas MI ( Administrator -Snehasadan). MLC Ivan D Souza, MLA Dr. Bharath Shetty, UP Ibrahim (Zilla Panchayat Member), Sachin Adapa (Taluk Panchayat Member) and Uday Bhat (Panchayat Vice President) were fondly remembered and felt their absence.
Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha in Presidential message appreciated the humanitarian work carried by Snehasadan. He also mentioned that all the people from Mangalore diocese are part of this noble work. The Director of Snehasadan Fr Teji Thomas took the opportunity to express his gratitude towards the people who are like family members to be honoured, they were- Eugene Rent and Mrs Benita Rent for donating the two acres of land where the Snehasadan building stands; Dr Ravi Vaswani, Professor Yenepoya Medical College, who is very keen and affectionate as he treats the children and residents for the past 16 years at Snehasadan;. Dr Caroline D’Souza considered as one among the family member of Snehasadan, as she is ever ready for consultation; Jerald Resquinha who helps Snehasadan to rehabilitate abandoned families, and the inmates for over 10 years; V J Dixon, the dance teacher at Snehasadan (Kala Samrat Awardee of 2019) who takes interest to bring out the hidden talents of the children, and he renders voluntary service through the Music and Art for Change Trust, Mangaluru.
The annual report “Sneha Spandan” read by Rev Fr. Baby Ellickal MI, was handed over to Sr. Juliet Lobo, Provincial Superior of SRA. Fr Baby mentioned that he feels at home whenever he visits Snehasadan, and has witnessed the affectionate love of the children. He also appreciated the collaborative mission work with other religious specially this year with SRA sisters having sent Sr. Clarice Lobo SRA to be a full-time staff. “Spoorthy” the handwritten magazine of Snehasadan children in which their talents were appreciated like drawing, poetry, small stories etc.. was released by Sr Rose Celine BS, Superior General of Bethany Sisters. She congratulated and appreciated very much of the various talents of the children.
A few of Snehasadan students were encouraged and appreciated for their outstanding performance in the school and other extracurricular activities like dance, sports, hard work, and Marathon were felicitated. The Children later exhibited their talents wonderfully in Dance, Mime, and an action song from small kids which left the floor with laughter. The words of wisdom of gratitude were expressed by Fr Jomin Thomas MI, the Administrator of Snehasadan, followed by a sumptuous meal.
In conclusion, according to Mathew 25:35-36, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, ….”, we should know that giving is something done voluntarily. Giving should not be done under compulsion, coercion, duress, or conviction. There are some exceptions, of course. When you do give, you are to give what you have chosen in your heart. Those who take pity on those less fortunate than us are true neighbors and caregivers.. Quoting His Holiness Pope Francis “We must restore hope to young people, help the old, be open to the future, spread love. Be poor among the poor. We need to include the excluded and preach peace”- Knowing that you have helped make someone else’s life a little brighter and better is a special feeling, and one that will last with you for a long time. And in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy.
So if you are looking for a way to enhance your act of sharing and giving experience, try giving back now. Let’s give to the less fortunate, ashrams, non-profit organizations, needy families and children, and others a feeling of hope, and make a difference in their lives. And one place you can donate some of your wealth is “Snehasadan” -a St Camillus Care Home, where the Community members are inviting well-wishers and friends to be partners in their endeavors to help the persons living with HIV to live a life of dignity. Open your hearts and give generously to a good cause and make a difference in the lives of these less fortunate. I end this column with thought-provoking words of Mother Teresa:
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them. Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. At the end of life, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in. I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things. A life not lived for others is not a life. Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
Or for more details how you can contribute contact: Snehasadan-St Camillus Care Home, Kaikamba Post, Kaikamba-Mangaluru-574151 Ph: 0824-2258119; 2258119; 9448118119; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.snehacharitabletrust.org
A FLASH-BACK OF SNEHASADAN, ST CAMILLUS CARE HOME
by Fr Teji Thomas MI- Director-Snehasdan
St Camillus De Lellis, our founder, was a great lover of the sick. He believed in caring for the sick, even when there is no cure. He saw the face of Jesus Christ in the suffering person and his spirituality is continued through his followers, the Camillians. The Order of the Ministers of the Infirm popularly known as Camillians is exclusively involved in health care for more than 450 years. Camillians are committed to render comprehensive health care with a preferential option for the poor sick.
Snehasadan, St. Camillus Care Home, is the third ministry initiative of Camillians in India under Sneha Charitable Trust. The idea of starting this centre began with the initiative of Mr. Eugine Rent, who donated two acres of land and the foundation stone was laid by the Bishop Dr. Aloysius Paul D’Souza, on June 1, 1998. It was inaugurated on 4th January 2001. From the time of its inception, we could render comprehensive, and dignified end-stage care to the abandoned sick. Around 2500 adults and 220 plus children received our care, More than 500 persons breathed their last experiencing the tenderness of God through the touch of Camillians.
Snehasadan is a home of love with its core values of compassion, commitment, care and competence. The holistic care includes medical, nursing, nutritional, counselling, recreation and spiritual services. It provides value-based formation for children to build their self-esteem and confidence. At present, it cares for 39 children and 10 adults. Government of Karnataka awarded Snehasadan with ‘State Award- 2015’ for its service to the welfare of children on 14th November 2015. The Sandehsa award of the year was received by Snehasadan on 22nd January 2019.
We are proud to state here that the Camillian sisters have extended their generous hands in establishing the Camillian mission in Manglauru. We have a great appreciation for Bethany sisters, who impart education to our children in their schools and colleges. SRA Srs. collaborate with us in various ways and Sr. Clarice SRA have joined us this year to support the mission.
It’s a moment of pride for all of us that our adult boys AND girls receive 5 digits salary, having completed professional courses like Engineering, Computer application, teachers training, automobile, lab technician, X-ray, BSW & Driving. some of them are also married and settled. We are proud of the Church of MangalURU and Dakshina Kannada as they have embraced our mission extending their wholehearted help and support. We thank all our well-wishers, benefactors and volunteers and staff who are instrumental in carrying out the mission. May all glory be to God in heaven.