January 2015

Hi from the chilly Northeast!

We realize our chilly weather doesn’t hold a candle to the wintry weather many of you are undergoing, but we like it cool, but not down to 8-9 degrees C. But, the weather is warming up slowly, and then we slide into the hot season, when we think of these cool days.  

Meanwhile, at Sarnelli House, we are still picking up girls of 9, 10 and 11 years old, who have been beaten, molested and abandoned. Late yesterday afternoon, the Welfare Department delivered a 9 year old girl and her 9 month old brother. They were abandoned by their mother right after the little boy’s birth, and that year old girl struggled to raise the boy; begging for milk money and food. She was kind of hostile for a day, but I had a bowl of noodles with her and another wee girl, and that broke the ice. She began talking and finally laughing; and then complaining, because both girls are in quarantine. Also, the TV has only one channel. We will fix that, plus increase (and improve) snacks for them. They will be in quarantine for two weeks, since both girls tested positive for TB.

We have had so many girls coming in, that the St. Patrick home is stacked like sardines with little girls. The older girls at Jan & Oscar are much less crowded, so we probably will have to move a few little girls with the big ones. Trouble is, none of the little girls want to leave St. Pat’s, and have told me so in no uncertain terms. Also, the denizens at J & O warn me that they don’t want any disgusting little runts with head lice running around their house.

I thought I had seen or heard of everything with these kids. But a day ago, a teenage girl crawled up a Tamarind tree and feel from the limb, through the roof and ceiling of their dorm, and landed on a bed. She was incredibly lucky, what with electrical wires; sheet of thin tin holding up ceiling panels, and she did not hit any joists. We took her to the hospital, but she only had a few bruises. I have some lads doing some extensive work on the roofing tiles and ceiling, plus checking electricity.

 With money donated by a family in Switzerland, we are building a study hall for the boys in the fields. The guy doing the building does not have many workers, but they are efficient enough. Once the study hall is completed, I will have them build a wall along the front of St. Patrick’s, and Jan & Oscar. People from Holland donated this money.

Our new appointments are out. There will be a new pastor coming in; a Redemptorist from parishes downriver. Ole and I will be his assistants. I will have to move from the St. Cornelius rectory to the area where Jan & Oscar, and St. Patrick’s are located. There is a room that that looks kind of grim, but I am repairing the room, and putting in decent lights and repainting the inside. It will be my office.  

Again, thanks so much for your interest in these children and may the Good Lord bless you and keep you all happy and healthy!  


Fr. Mike

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