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Father Antony Savarimuthu (1939-2018)

Father Antony’s Mission in India

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 the 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 door

Out of his love and desire to help, he founded St. Mary’s School and Orphanage in Kumbakonam, India, in 1998. 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.

Help the Helpless is formed

The financial expenses for St. Mary’s were great. Father Antony reached out to his respected friend, Father Altier, and as a result, the non-profit organization in the United States called Help the Helpless was formed with a mission to help poor and handicapped children.

When Help the Helpless was formed in 1998 and benefactors responded with overwhelming generosity, Fr. Antony was able to expand care to significantly more children. He acquired 37 acres, and in a short amount of time, opened elementary and high schools for the deaf-mute, the differently-abled, and the poor. Many of these gifted children graduated from high school but were not accepted by the government colleges due to their physical disabilities. In response, Fr. Antony founded a college for teachers and a college for nurses. While the poor and handicapped students attend these colleges at no expense, the schools also enroll paying students to help fund the missionary programs.

Each year over 225 teachers become certified, over 50 graduate with four year nursing degrees, and over 100 elementary and high school students are educated and housed at no cost to them or their families. The sponsored students are very grateful to their benefactors, and pray for them daily. Your ongoing support allows these programs to continue and flourish.

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward them for what they have done. – Proverbs 19:17