The Prayers of Orphans

Earlier this month my Kuwait based friend, Ulysses, wrote to me saying that it was the First Death Anniversary of his father, Anthony Menezes, and he needed to release some adverts in the local Goan newspapers. These adverts would be to remind people about the Anniversary Mass. I got him in touch with an advertising agency who gave him the rates which worked out to about Rs. 5000/- for a small advert in the O Heraldo and similar amounts in other papers. Ulysses was all set to release adverts in three  newspapers when I intervened.

With modern networking and communication, I assured Ulysses that it was possible to intimate all the friends and relatives, that mattered, about the Anniversary Mass. Ulysses said he had already done so but said that since he had budgeted a certain amount for the Mass, Choir, Snacks, Beverages, etc, this was just another of the budgeted amounts – for advertisements. I convinced him to advertise in one newspaper only and to spend the rest of the money budgeted for advertisements on some charitable cause. Ulysses readily agreed with my suggestion and gave me Rs. 10,000/- to do whatever was necessary.

I contacted my Aldona based parents who got in touch with Auxilium Convent in Carona. The nuns in charge run a Primary School there. Forty five of these students live in the boarding house. They are all girls without one or both parents, or from broken families. These ‘orphans’ are very grateful for whatever they can get. A deal was made with a local caterer and on Sunday 17th June which also happened to be my son Fabian’s birthday we drove down and served the girls a meal of:

- Green Peas Pulav
– Fried Chicken
– Cauliflower Caldin
– Custard and Jelly Dessert

Beatrice and my Mom purchased some small pouches and filled them with pencils, erasers, sharpeners and some assorted sweets and a Frooti each. These were given as gifts to the girls before the meal. All within the Rs. 10,000/- budget. We gave the nun in charge a Memorial Card of Ulysses father and she read from it and the children said a prayer for him. They also sang Happy Birthday to Fabian. I am sure Ulysses father will be pleased at money well spent rather than just making publishers rich with unnecessary advertisements.

I write this in the hope of convincing others to do similar charitable works. I see totally unnecessary and huge and expensive Death and Condolence and Death Anniversary adverts in the papers that serve no purpose other than making the publishers rich. The same money could be spent on feeding or clothing or educating needy children.

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