ASK FATHER: How to “reclaim” my property for the Lord after a Hindu procession goes by?

From a reader…


Thank you for all of the amazing information you share with us each day on your website. I have learned so much in the past 6 months. I have a question that I would like your advice on:I just had a local Hindu temple process past my house carrying a chariot with the deity Skanda Sashti while singing hymns. What would you recommend I do to “reclaim” my property for the Lord? Sprinkle holy water around property line while praying? Thanks for your insights.

I think Skanda Sashti is a song about a deity, but no matter.

By all means use Holy Water around your place and even blessed salt.

You could also ask the priest to come to your house and, using the older, traditional Roman Ritual, bless a mess of salt and Holy Water and then also use it to bless your home, going into each and every room and space.

This is a good thing to do even if such an event hasn’t taken place.

If Father comes, it is good (though not obligatory or expected) to give him something for his time.  In Italy I was once given a live chicken.   In order to avoid hauling it around on my rounds, I ask them if they could, please, lightly kill it and drop it off when I didn’t have a whole bunch of other house blessings (as priests often do in Italy during Easter season).  They were happy to oblige, which helped me to avoid what I knew would be a pretty hasty and agitated meal.

Speaking of hasty and agitated, I am reminded of the scene in the Aubrey/Maturin novel by Patrick O’Brian‘s HMS Surprise.  (UK HERE) Dr. Stephen Maturin is conducting an experiment on some rats.  He has been feeding them madder (red stuff).  He was eventually going to dissect them to see if the red stuff had colored their bones, but hungry midshipmen ate them while he had been marooned on St. Paul’s Rock.  Note the spiffing partitive genitive in the first sentence of the following:

In time it appeared that Babbington had eaten of the Doctor’s rats; and that he was sorry now. ‘Why, no, Babbington,’ said Jack. ‘No. That was an infernal shabby thing to do; mean and very like a scrub. The Doctor has been a good friend to you – none better. Who patched up your arm, when they all swore it must come off? Who put you into his cot and sat by you all night, holding the wound? Who – ‘ Babbington could not bear it; he burst into tears. Though an acting-lieutenant he wiped his eyes on his sleeve, and through his sobs he gave Jack to understand that unknown hands had wafted these prime millers into the larboard midshipmen’s berth; that although he had had no hand in their cutting-out – indeed, would have prevented it, having the greatest love for the Doctor, so much so that he had fought Braithwaite over a chest for calling the Doctor ‘a Dutch-built quizz’ – yet, the rats being already dead, and dressed with onion-sauce, and he so hungry after rattling down the shrouds, he had thought it a pity to let the others scoff the lot. Had lived with a troubled conscience ever since: had in fact expected a summons to the cabin.
‘You would have been living with a troubled stomach if you had known what was in ‘em; the Doctor had -’
‘I tell you what it is, Jack,’ said Stephen, walking quickly in. ‘Oh, I beg your pardon.’
‘No, stay, Doctor. Stay, if you please,’ cried Jack.
Babbington looked wretchedly from one to the other, licked his lips and said, ‘I ate your rat, sir. I am very sorry, and I ask your pardon.’
‘Did you so?’ said Stephen mildly. ‘Well, I hope you enjoyed it. Listen, Jack, will you look at my list, now?’
‘He only ate it when it was dead,’ said Jack.
‘It would have been a strangely hasty, agitated meal, had he ate it before,’ said Stephen, looking attentively at his list. ‘Tell me, sir, did you happen to keep any of the bones?’
‘No, sir. I am very sorry, but we usually crunch ‘em up, like larks. Some of the chaps said they looked uncommon dark, however.’
‘Poor fellows, poor fellows,’ said Stephen in a low, inward voice.
‘Do you wish me to take notice of this theft, Dr Maturin?’ asked Jack.
‘No, my dear, none at all. Nature will take care of that, I am afraid.’

Stephen is eventually revenged in a creative way which also kept him true to his Hippocratic Oath.  Later in that same book, by the way, Jack debauches Stephen’s pet sloth with grog and turns it into an alcoholic.  Which it’s tough going for the Doctor on the high seas.

But I digress.

Do ask Father to come to bless your property.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, O'Brian Tags, Preserved Killick and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Jeannine says:

    I just have to say that “You have debauched my sloth!” may be my favorite line from the entire series.

  2. Jeannine says: my favorite line

    And there are so many to choose from!

  3. arickett says:

    In uk getting your house blessed is not the norm any longer, but it is something we have always done. Last time we moved we got 3 priests,the assistance Priest, the parish Priest and a new preist from a neighbouring parish as we were a training exercise but it may have had something to do with the dinner my wife lays on after the blessing.

    Remember priests are very busy invite, let them set the date,let them no there can move it if they need to.

  4. The Masked Chicken says:

    They should have blessed the chicken :)

    The Chicken

  5. Make use of the Epiphany blessing.
    I do this every year and even bless the doorway in my storm shelter, garage and shed.

Comments are closed.