On Sunday, 18th December 2016, the Young Adults Association (YAA) of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Orlem, Malad, led by Fr. Oniel Rodrigues, visited the Vimla Dermatological Centre, Versova, a medical treatment care centre and hospital for leprosy patients. On our arrival at the centre we were greeted by Sr. Bertilla Capra of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Nirmala Sisters who has been serving Our Blessed Lord in the leprosy patients for about forty six years here in Mumbai. She was accompanied by Mr. Austin Buthello (Para Medical), who was very kind and generous to share his experiences of his work at the centre. He explained to us in brief, how the centre strives to identify leprosy patients living in slums and elsewhere and bring them to the centre and treat the disease. Many a time their work is opposed by locals and outsiders.
We also had a brief encounter with a person named ‘Victor Massey’ who miraculously reached the centre. He had come from Jaipur. When he first came he was unable to lift things as his hands would not open up. After undergoing a couple of surgeries at the centre he is recovering speedily, and can’t seem to thank God enough for what Our Lord God has done and continues to do for him.
Besides leprosy patients, we also visited the children of the leprosy patients and some from the slums, who board and lodge at the centre. These children receive high school education, medical help and treatment if needed from the centre. The children as always, in their childlike spirit rose to the occasion and sang ‘showers of blessings’ for us. Not to be left behind, our youths responded by singing a couple of Christmas carols for them. But the children completely outdid us in their singing abilities. We interacted with them, talking about Jesus, Our Lord. Since, most children were wearing the Holy Rosary, it gave us an opportunity opening to speak about Our Blessed Mother Mary and propagate The Holy Rosary. It was not just an enriching by also an eye-opening experience.