|Father Antony’s mission
Father Antony is an Indian Catholic priest and the founder of St. Mary’s School and Orphanage at Kumbakonam, India.
Father Antony began his priesthood in rural villages. Because his first parish had no rectory, he spent three years living in a cattle shed while tending to the spiritual and temporal needs of the very poor. This was the start of Father Antony’s mission to live with the poorest of the poor and work tirelessly to improve their daily living conditions.
While working with poor families in these villages, Father Antony found many children who had been abandoned to the streets. Often, these children were beggars and exploited by others to gain money. Most were despised because of their handicaps or low caste status. They had no parental support, no home, no medical attention, little food, less education and no hope. Father Antony decided then to commit himself to the lifelong work of restoring hope and providing help for these handicapped, orphaned and poverty-stricken children.
St. Mary’s opens its doors
St. Mary’s School and Orphanage opened in 1992 with a single building located outside of the city of Kumbakonam. This facility initially housed and educated about 300 children. Soon, it was filled beyond capacity, and St. Mary’s limited resources became overwhelmed by the needs of so many unfortunate children.
Reaching out to Help the Helpless
Father Antony reached out to his respected friend, Father Altier. As a result, the non-profit Help the Helpless was formed with the specific mission of supporting St. Mary’s in India. The benefactors of Help the Helpless are the only source of support that St. Mary’s receives. No government welfare or medical care program is available as it is against Indian law to support a Christian organization in India.
Through the generosity of Help the Helpless benefactors, St. Mary’s continues to care for these children in need. Today, St. Mary’s feeds, shelters, clothes, educates, medically assists and teaches the Catholic faith to approximately 1,900 children. But more children are waiting. Can you help?
“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink.”