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Mangalore: Capuchin Priests Save a Year-old Child and Restore it to Parents

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore (GA)

Mangalore, May 2: Though the early morning showers on Tuesday May 1 did not surprise many, it surely caught a one-year-old kid unawares near St Anne's Friary on Jail Road here.  The rain coupled with thunder and lightning might have woken up the child midway through its slumber and the child went on the street without the knowledge of its parents.  Though it got completely drenched in the rain while sleeping on the side of the road, there wasn't anyone to care for it.

It is often said those who do not have anyone to care for are specially looked after by God Himself and they are perhaps the most protected by nature.  This became so true in this case also. Fr John Harry, Capuchin and editor of 'Sevak ' monthly who had gone out to drop two other priests to the bus stand found the child soaking wet in rain near St Anthony's Shrine next to the Friary.  There was no one else around except him.  Though he wanted to take the child and care for it till the parents or guardians were found, he hesitated a bit initially since this move involved a lot of risk.

But he did not want to leave the child to its fate.  He went back to the Friary in a hurry and woke up Fr Henry, administrator of Assisi Press.  The latter immediately sprung into action along with the former and they brought the child to the Friary.  After giving a shower to the child, they called the police control room who responded to the call immediately and sent the Barke police to the Friary.  In the meantime they informed the priests that if there was no problem to the life of the child, they could keep it in their custody till they (the police) arrived.

Within a short period the police arrived and took the child into their custody.  Since the child was just a year old, they could not get any details about its parents or guardians.  It was not known who abandoned the child there nor who its parents were.

Meanwhile, a couple working in the construction work of Pio Mall, next to St Anne's Friary were found desperately looking  for their child.  The news reached the Friary and they immediately confirmed that the child found by Fr Harry in fact belonged to this couple.  Accordingly, the police were informed about this and the child was finally handed over to the parents after proper verification.

Though the child had not moved much far from the spot, if the priests had not brought it to their residence, there were chances that it might have strayed further or exposed itself to hazards of being snatched way or accidents or much-discussed street dog menace.

The immediate steps taken by the young priests and the quick response from the police did a world of good not only to the child but even to its distressed and desperate parents.


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