By Gordon Nary
Gordon: When did you realize that you had a vocation to be a priest and with whom did you discuss it?
Fr. Sudhakar: I had studied my first class to tenth class in our boarding. Every time I used to observe our boarding rector and parish priest and their pastoral ministry and social activities. I have inspired by their way of life and service. In my seventh class I expressed my desire to become like our fathers. So after finishing my tenth class I went to my parish priest with the help of my boarding rector and discussed with them. Then I joined in the seminary. This is how I realized my vocation.
Gordon: Where did you attend seminary?
Fr. Sudhakar: I had done my orientation in St. Joseph’s seminary Naidupet. Intermediate in St. De Paul’s college. Spiritual orientation in St. Paul’s seminary Nuzvid. Philosophical studies in St.John’s regional seminary at Kondadaba. One year regency in Khammam boarding. For my theological studies I went to St. John’s regional seminary Hyderabad.
Gordon: There is extreme poverty in India. What are some of the causes of extreme poverty?
Fr. Sudhakar: (a) Rapid growth of population, (b) Low agricultural productivities (c)Unequal distribution of land and other assets (d) Social Customs (e) Lack of employment opportunities (f) Lack of Education (g) caste System (h) Growing indebtedness etc………..
Gordon: Could you please provide and overview of your parish, Sacred Heart Church and how many people you serve?
Fr. Sudhakar: Our Parish is a new Parish which was made as the new Parish just two years back. It’s a mission Parish in the midst of Tribal people who are illiterate, and very far away from God (Hindu background). It’s my first appointment as the Parish Priest and its new Parish just made. This is a remote Tribal mission Parish in our Diocese. My Parish is surrounded by merely 24 TANDAS (S.T&S.C). We have six sub stations. All our people are illiterate and they will go for daily wage. So all the people in our area live just a poor life, i.e. Hand to mouth existence. Poverty is the only property of these unfortunate people. They are living in an utter miserable and pitiable condition. My people here belong to backward Caste and they are the suppressed class in the society. Here we are helping merely 150 school going children for their education. We also help some aged and mentally retarded people and widows too.
Gordon: Who the bishop of your diocese?
Fr. Sudhakar: Most. Rev. Maipan Paul D.D, Bishop of Khammam
Gordon: What are some of the challenges providing education to the children?
Fr. Sudhakar: a) Children with disabilities (b) Discrimination (c) Transportation and Distance (d) Hunger and poor nutrition (e) Being the wrong Gender (f) Dropping out (g) Lack of learning materials (h) child labor etc………..
Gordon: Two of your parishioners were recently killed in a road accident. Could you tell us about what happened to their families?
Fr. Sudhakar: I am very sad to inform you that two of our parishioners died in a road accident. These Two of them had met with an accident in the month of April 2013. Not recently three years back. Then onwards I am writing to many people, but nobody came forward to help these unfortunate people even our bishop denied to help. They had gone for work, on the way back met with an accident on April 7th at 2.30pm.
Immediately rushed to the hospital after reaching to the hospital one died the other one after long treatment in ICU died on 15th. They spent merely four lakh rupees, that amount borrowed from somewhere else. Now these two families became helpless. One is having two children. The other one is having three children. These two brothers go for daily wage. I am bringing to your kind notice & requesting on behalf of these two families to give your kind support and stretch out your helping hands. I humbly request you to come to the aid of these two families. They do not have the permanent houses. Please kindly help these two families to have the simple and modest houses. Because as the two families lost their Daddy’s they don’t have any sources and chance to construct the houses.
Gordon: Thank you for helping many of us all understand some of the challenges addressing your ministry as we explore some options for assisting you.