Friday, May 23, 2008

Exploring Home and Out


A large Pipe-organ at Gengenbach (above) Gengenbach seen from Chappalle (above right)

On Wednesday, we woke up late, had breakfast with Karl, and then Evelyn dropped us with Fr. Joseph in the parish. I shall call him Jose. He is a very fine man from Kerala, and has spent already five years in Gengenbach. He was happy to see some Indians here! In the morning after some friendly chat we walked around Gengenbach, with its ancient richness. One important place that we visited was the Mother House of one of the Benedictine Monasteries where the sisters are very old, and they are making lots of religious articles of excellent quality for sale. But they seem to not have much sale, although they get occasionally many bookings. Evelyn picked us at 12.30 for lunch, and then we went to a Chinese restaurant nearby. I had very hot chicken briyani with red chillies! Others took more bland diet. In the afternoon, we walked up to the nearby hill, walking through the many vineyards that surround the little town, to the Chappalle (Chapel). By the time we returned it was four in the afternoon. And later Evelyn took us to her company where we could see how the Active Ingredients for making some important tablets are being made. As many areas of the company are restricted for entry we could see through the glass. At other places we could get in with protective gears. Evening we had dinner at Karl's and watched the Champions League Football Final, before we went for our sleep.
Variety of candles prepared by the nuns (above) a portion of the pharma company Evelyn works (above right)

On Thursday, there was a grand celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi. We participated in it. It was really grand and lots of people from various christian denominations had gathered for the mass and the procession. It was interesting to note that for celebrations people do come to the churches although at other times the churches are barely half-full. I also noticed that the Churhces are not fully utilised for religious purposes, specially in places of pilgrimage, to attract people to religious faith, although the same churches are being utilised as places of heritage and picnic (e.g. the Freiburg and Straasburg M√ľnsters). I think the church in Europe needs to pay more attention to using the people's visit to these places of public visit into faith-building platforms.
We had a more quite evening and the Vespers at the Church, followed by a sumptuous meal at the home of Peter and Evelyn. (photo: vineyards of Gengenbach)

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