Mad Dogs and Swine

From June 30, 2018

The following is based on an inspirational homily delivered by Fr. Tom Hagan, OSFS.
Tuesday’s Gospel reading was from Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount. I am still contemplating it. It contained this line: “How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” That line always reminds me of a film on made on peace and nonviolence with Fr. John Dear, the title of which was The Narrow Path. But I heard the Gospel on Tuesday in a different way. A few sentences earlier Jesus was telling his disciple not to give “what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine.” In a way, Jesus was teasing the disciples. Jews at the time considered non-Jews to be mad dogs or swine. For them, those who believed differently from them are to be avoided. But Jesus turned this idea upside down.

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Cité Soleil

From June 29, 2018

Unless a Journal reader has seen my film Mud Pies & Kites, they really can’t imagine how dreadful the conditions are in Cité Soleil, the largest, most violent slum in Haiti. I’ve filled up many pages of this Journal over the years with vivid, shocking descriptions of life in this slum. It is located just a short distance from Santa Chiara, and most of our kids come from this horrific place. I thought today I would share some photos of Cité Soleil that I’ve taken over the years.


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Time Flies

From June 28, 2018

In yesterday’s Journal, I never even mentioned we had to take to kids to the hospital. One was one of the new infants. The other was Baby Ruth, who came to as an infant in the near the end of 2015. She has known no other home. Her mother was a homeless alcoholic. Last year Ruth was in the hospital for nearly a month with pneumonia. Nurse Rose was concerned the symptoms had returned. She underwent tests on Tuesday. We had to bring her back to the hospital yesterday to pick up the test results. But they ran a second test, and so we will know the results today. The new infant’s problem was not serious and easily corrected by changing his formula.
While I’m on the subject of medical issues, it seems like a good time to share a snapshot into the expense of providing medical care for the children. From December 12, 2017 through June 27, 2018, we spent a total of $10,605 on the varied medical needs of the kids.


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Summer Program

From June 27, 2018

I feel we often don’t pay enough attention to 16 boys living with us. They are constantly begging me for a “machine,” that is a toy car. Yesterday, Billy and I had to take Ecarlatte to a store that sold fabric. While she was purchasing $220 worth of fabric so the ladies and visiting mothers could make clothing for the kids while learning a skill which might help them earn some money, Billy and I purchased two huge bags of “machines” for the boys.  But we did more than purchase toy cars. Some of the male staff, headed by Machenson, have devised a plan for the boys to have a soccer tournament over the summer. The men and the boys have spent many days smoothing out the lot next door that we rent. The removed all the rocks and leveled the playing area.


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Underpants and Painting

From June 26, 2018

Yesterday, Ecarlatte spent much time distributing all the underwear we purchased in Florida for the kids. They were all very excited. Mackenson and his crew were busy repainting the lower exterior walls of the house…which 65 kids have no trouble making dirty almost as quickly as it takes paint to dry.  Elena was very happy to get one the six new SCCC baseball caps I was able to bring. The shop is busy making another dozen hats.


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Back in Haiti

From June 25, 2018

Flight back took off and landed on time. The flight attendant who gave me trash bags stuffed with pretzels and orange juice for the kids on my last flight to Haiti greeted me very warmly. I said to Ecarlatte, “This is the pretzel lady.” They both laughed. As we began the descent into Haiti, she gave us two more trash bags filled with pretzels and cookies. Billy was there to greet us and we had the usual hot, bumpy ride home in Junior’s tap-tap. After Mass at the MC sisters this morning, Billy and I head up to Petionville for a major shopping as the cupboards are all bare.


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May She Rest in Peace

From June 23, 2018

Where to begin as I pen a few words about the death of one of the most passionate and ardent supporters of Pax et Bonum Communications and especially the Santa Chiara Children’s Center. Joan Lucille Krebs was born on July 19, 1930. Her death came on June 20, 2018, just a month short of her 88th birthday. She was an educator and a futurist. Her e-mails and long typed letters were like courses in life, in which she quoted a wide range of authors and often presented challenging theories on a wide range of topics. Joan was a Sister of St Joseph of LaGrange, Illinois for 18 yrs. She taught grade school, high school, and college philosophy. She considered herself a Citizen of the World living in Solidarity with all people and all God’s creatures. With tenacious determination and energy, she supported diversity, peace, and justice.


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