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The Fusellis

When I was working as a substitute for Fr.Mathew Muthuplakal at St.Michael's church, Bronx, I was living on the 24th floor of one of apartments in Co-Op city, Bronx.Opposite to our floor was the one occupied by Joe Caputi. When Joe was going to the hospital for a surgery, he asked me whether I could water the plants in his apartment. But his surgery became complicated and hence his daughter Anne Fuselli came to be with him for a few weeks.Anne was at the hospital when I went to see Joe. That was the beginning of my friendship with the Fusellis. Anne and her husband, Nat later invited me to spend the Thanksgiving at their house in my first year at the Catholic University.
From that time onwards, they became a family for me and they had invited me to their home for several of their Christmases and other celebratory occasions.I have also stayed a few times at their summer apartment at the Ocean city.That apartment had a beautiful view of the ocean.
When I broke my arm, slipping on the ice at the Campus of the Catholic University, they invited me to their house and I stayed there almost two weeks.
When their eldest son ,Frank, had a terrible motor bike accident, I went to visit him at the hospital before the surgery.
Anne's mother , Josephine too was also very loving and considerate.
At Christmas times , I met their extended families and became friends with all.
Their daughter ,Donna, came with me , on one of my visits to India, as she was going to Mother Teresa's place in Calcutta.Her stay in Calcutta had transformed her in such a powerful way that she became very considerate and loving to those who are less fortunate. Donna and her husband, John, decided to adopt children and they have now 18 adopted children five under guardianship. They both are remarkable examples of powerful witnesses to the Catholic faith.Their house is a model house of Catholic prayer life and living.They are not only home schooling their children but are also homeschooling more than 100 kids. Already one of their daughters has decided has to join a convent and one boy has joined the Seminary.
I said a mass recently for them at their place and I was really impressed by their lively participation in the mass. Their daily prayers, hours of adoration and attendance at masses are examples of great Christian living that we don't find in any official Catholic houses of prayer.
Anne is a great source of support for them.
Anne is like a sister for me, helping me in a lot of things while I have been here in the States.
She guided me when I experienced difficulties and challenges and encouraged me to become active in charismatic prayer groups.
It was she who encouraged Donna to go on a trip to India to spend some weeks at Mother Teresa's convent.
She had once arranged for me to meet with Walker Percy, the novelist on whose works I did my dissertation, when he came to address a gathering in one of the Smithsonian museums.Walker Percy autographed the book I published on his works.It is at that gathering that I was able to talk to Percy personally although he was gracious enough to respond to me whenever I wrote to him while doing my research on his novels.
I am deeply grateful to her for all her support and enceouragment.


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