June 2012 Update (by Fr Mike)


I have been back stateside for two months, and I have seen more damn doctors during this time than I ever met in my life! I think my medical expenses will put all their kids through college. I needed a new bridge, which was grim enough, given I hate going to dentists. Then, a checkup revealed I have diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The doctor kept warning me about the “sudden death” syndrome, which given my age sounds like a great way to go! Then, I had to get a MRI on my shoulder which I hurt while lifting weights with my cousin Pat at the local YMCA (no rotor cuff problem). After that, it was a murderous concoction to put on my arms and hands to destroy pre-cancerous lesions. I looked like Job of Old Testament fame for five weeks. The eye doctor announced I needed cataract operations, and the first was completed on June 1, and the other eye will be cut up on June 28. After that, I have to be idle for a week. My mother and several of her friends used to sit around and try to trump each others' health problems, and I fear I am getting that way.

All seems to go by smoothly at Sarnelli House, although the staff were at each others' throats for a while. I have two newly ordained Thai priests there, plus a young Redemptorist brother. The brother has aa degree in counseling, and is in great demand. They are getting a baptism of fire. People picture Thai women as being shy, demure, sweet and passive. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The monsoon season arrived in time, so the workers and kids are out planting rice after school and on weekends. I bought another 6 acres of rice paddy, and hope this brings us closer to our goal of self-sufficiency in growing and eating rice. Rice is really expensive, and I would like rice left over for our Outreach Program as well. We have three young cows, and one gave birth to a little bull. They are Brahmin cattle, and we have money enough to buy 4 more. The staff has to go to cattle auctions to buy heifers, and it is difficult to buy healthy young cattle. We also have to begin raising chickens and ducks. I had the coops finished by the time I came home. We built them over fish ponds. We have electricity so should be able to take care of them easily. That area is crawling with thieves.

 I would like to ask for prayers for some of our benefactors for Sarnelli House. If anyone needs prayers, the kids do a good job (or so God thinks!). Just send me your name and petitions to this e-mail address: (mshea164@gmail.com).

 Again, thank you so much for your support and compassion for these kids! Spare some prayers for Fr. Joe Ole, Father Jettana and Brother Keng as they cope with the work and begin projects and programs which I lack the talent to do! But they have the “old” pro (“old” being an euphemism) Nurse Kate there to help keep the ship afloat!

May the good Lord bless you!

Father Mike


Go Back