Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Every Saturday at least 100 boys get their haircuts. It takes a team of older boys and it takes hours and hours. Notice in the top photo that the instrument to trim the hair is a razor blade attached to a comb. Ah, appropriate technology.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Top three photos are of the children performing: tap dance, Boabab group dance and Gervais' group skit. The bottom photo shows MaTante, Renold, Father Fred and myself while Father Fred blesses the dinner we are about to enjoy.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
On May 26th, 1984 I was ordained a priest in Lewiston, Maine by Bishop Amedee Proulx. It's been 25 years and what a time it has been. My first assignment was at CREC-AVEX in Lyons, FRANCE where I learned a lot about media and even more about fine dining. Had the opportunity there to polish up my French. I returned to the states and worked at Ste Jeanne d'Arc Parish in Lowell, MA. Was asked to be pastor of two small parishes in Maine: Castine and Stonington. I was there only 18 months but the experience left me humbled and proud. I received permission to become a Navy chaplain and went to Newport, RI for Officers' Training in the fall of '89.
I spent seven years in the military: Okinawa, Japan with Marines-- Mayport, FL with the Navy-- Kodiak, AK with the Coast Guard -- and, finally, El Toro MCAS (California) with Marines. It was while I was stationed in Mayport as a DESRON Chaplain that I was sent TAD to Guantanimo Bay, CUBA to work with the Haitian boat people being held there. That experience helped me focus on what I needed to do in my priesthood. After several years of reflection and prayer I resigned my commission in the Navy and came here.
These last eleven years have been the most difficult of my life and, simultaneously, the most rewarding. We have created a unique ministry that has reached out and is reaching out to thousands of God's poorest children. Our ability to respond to the children's needs is nothing short of a miracle.
I am most grateful for your support that allows us to do so much here. I treasure my staff that is totally committed to the children's care. And my heart belongs to the children. May God, our Father, bless us all as we discern His will for us.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Doc. Chuck Tozzer visited us briefly this morning. He and his team are in-country doing a dental clinic in the nearby town. Dr. Tozzer is a long-time friend and has orchestrated the purchase of all the necessary equipment for a full-service dental clinic that we will have available for dentists to use. Chuck and I share the same belief: build it and they will come! Unlike physicians, dentists require a special set of tools. Thanks to Dr. Tozzer, we have them now so we invite all dentists and dental techs to come visit. What a fantastic gift for our children! Chuck also delivered a check from the children of St Cecilia's School in Tustin, CA who had a Lenten program to benefit the children here. A huge thank you to the children and staff of St Cecilia's. Be assured of our gratitude and prayers.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Bishop Poulard was installed this morning as the new bishop of Les Cayes in a four-hour long special liturgy.
He replaces Monsignor Alix Verrier who was bishop here for 23 years. We are grateful for the kindness and leadership of Bishop Verrier and wish his successor much wisdom, strength and patience.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Our sincere thanks to Andy Topp and Peter Kikot of New Jersey who arranged this transport of food for us. The truck left Port-au-Prince last night in the rain and arrived early this morning. The truck driver had trouble finding our place but finally arrived to the cheers of the children and staff. He promptly drove his truck into the soft mud and got mired so the kids had to unload the boxes quite a distance. The food will be shared with a girls' orphanage not too far from here. God bless you, Andy and Peter, for making this happen.
There was a house here earlier but it could not stand up to the force of the river.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Inside the children's housing
On the way to the children's housing
It has been raining on and off since yesterday afternoon. The thunder keeps rolling and the ground is saturated so the water has no place to go. Galoshes and umbrellas are part of the uniform today.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
At 1:30 PM this afternoon we had a major thunder and lighting storm with gale force winds. The rain was coming down cats and dogs (and a few cows and horses) in all directions. We lost some banana trees and there was quite a bit of flooding. The kids are fine though I expect a bunch to be sniffling when I see them tomorrow. Pipes and tank covers fell from the roof of the Quad, branches tore off the large mango trees and fell, small homes were destroyed. Please pray for the families who lost homes and for those who lost their crops. There's too much flooding now to check out our neighbors so we'll have to wait until the morning.
We have a satellite hook-up for the internet and it has been frustratingly slow lately. That explains no posts for the past few days. Also, I lent out my camera to one of the older boys and he still hasn't returned it. The next three shots are provided by Paige.
Deacon Peter was home in Massachusetts for almost three weeks. He had doctors' appointments, medical tests, dental work and out-patient surgery done. Hardly what I'd call a vacation. He got to see his children and grandchildren. We're happy he's back but no one missed him as much as Tiggy, his godson.