Service is the best religion

Christmas: Since 1984, NCR has published Maryknoll Fr. Bob McCahill's annual Christmas letter, chronicling his experience in Bangladesh.

We are all one family: meeting old friends and new in Bangladesh

Christmas: Since 1984, NCR has published Maryknoll Fr. Bob McCahill's annual Christmas letter, chronicling his experience among the people of Bangladesh.

Remembering smiles, conversations and faith in Bangladesh

Christmas: For this Maryknoll priest, Bangladesh is full happiness and reminders of how beautiful the gift of life can be.

Despite different beliefs, we are one family

Christmas

For many years, Maryknoll Fr. Bob McCahill has been sending an annual letter to NCR and other friends at Christmastime, chronicling his experience living among the people of Bangladesh since 1975. Following is an edited version of his 2011 letter.

Dear Friends,

Skinny, awkward 6-year-old Bareek was brought to me by his skinny, worried mother. A doctor has diagnosed the boy’s cerebral palsy. I pledged to arrange a two-week course of physiotherapy so that mother could learn to help her son. On that very day, Haroon and I were hauling earth in baskets to lay as a foundation for my new house. Bareek decided to help us. In his family’s cooking shed he found a high-sided rice plate. Working alongside the men, Bareek filled his plate repeatedly, carried it 15 meters in his jerky gait, and emptied it wherever Haroon and I emptied our basketfuls. Neighbors who observed his voluntary efforts thought, pound for pound, Bareek was the most admirable of all the earth haulers.