For over sixteen years, the Family of St. Sharbel has been able to extend its apostolic work to India by providing spiritual resources and devotional items to various parishes, missions, and individuals. Brother Lloyd Butello, the Family's national coordinator in India, has served as the hands and the feet—the extension—of the mission of the Family of St. Sharbel in India.
Though there is currently no Family of St. Sharbel prayer group founded in India at this time, that hasn’t stopped the spirit of the Family of St. Sharbel from spreading there. For nearly twenty years, Lloyd has collaborated with the Family of St. Sharbel, USA to provide the faithful in India with resources, both spiritual and temporal.
Most recently, during the month of October—World Mission Month—there was a collaborative effort to assist several projects, one of which ministered to the faithful of St. Peter’s Church, Koliwada.
Seeing the need in such difficult times, Sr. Janet reached out to the Family of St. Sharbel to supply the community with some devotional items including, Old Testament and New Testament Bibles in the local language, Rosaries, Scapulars, Medals, Holy Pictures, and other sacramentals. Sr. Janet has also been instrumental in spreading devotion to St. Sharbel to many sick and needy faithful. According to Lloyd, “These simple fisher folk, God fearing and devout people were so glad to receive these precious gifts…They had words of sincere gratitude for the Family of St. Sharbel and have assured their daily remembrance in prayers for their kind benefactors abroad.”
Another missionary and collaborator is Fr. Gregory Butello, a Missionary of St. Francis de Sales (MSFS) and uncle of Lloyd. Fr. Gregory has been a missionary in India for over seventeen years and works among the poor, most of whom are not Catholic. Most recently, he was transferred to St. Anthony Church, Kalambist, a mission located in the Sindhudurg Diocese where he serves a humble community of 300 Catholics. Much of the faithful have moved to nearby cities like Pune and Mumbai to seek out a better lifestyle and living conditions, but Fr. Gregory, along with the other MSFS fathers, continue to provide pastoral care to the faithful there. Upon his request, the Family of St. Sharbel was able to supply them with religious materials and devotional items in addition to catering to some of the pastoral needs of the mission.
In a recent correspondence detailing the fruits of the collaborative projects, Lloyd expresses his deep gratitude to the Family of St. Sharbel abroad: “Amid these trying times that the world is facing, we Catholics are called to be a beacon of hope and I am delighted to say that the Family of St. Sharbel is truly a beacon of hope. I hear with interest of all the various charitable projects back home and abroad, that this Family of God tries to take into hand and see to its fulfillment.
On behalf of the hundreds of lives in India that you have touched and have helped to come more closer to Jesus-A Big Thank You!”
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