Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Back from Haiti

On Saturday night we returned from Cap Haitien after spending a week with the Missionaries of the Poor. Words can hardly describe the experience and I came away with an incredible sense of God's love, mercy and presence among the poor. The MOP brothers have a home for the frail elderly, mentally challenged, and children's home for disabled and those with birth defects, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, severe autism, mental retardation etc. As we worked with the brothers in caring for these people, I had never seen such love and joy as manifested by the brothers and reflected by the joy on the faces of even the most horribly disfigured and disabled.
   I saw over 200 patients in 3 days and my wife and others on the team performed dressing changes on multiple patients, changed foley catheters and helped bathe the elderly, demented and infirm. On the third day we were there, the brothers opened the doors of the Asile Community to allow the people of the town of St. Philomene to come in and receive medical care. That day, I saw 139 patients and I was just praying I wouldn't hurt anyone!

The brothers of the Missionaries of the Poor live out this verse every single day:

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Their daily work is punctuated by prayer, the celebration of the Eucharist, adoration and praying the rosary. The brothers say they could not do what they do without spending time with the Lord in prayer and  receiving Christ in the Eucharist. 

I had the opportunity to glimpse for a week what the Church has been doing for 2000 years in caring for "the least of these."  In the past 17 trips to Haiti I always thought I had worked with the "least of these" but the Haitian people of Asile Community are the "Least of the Least of these." The brothers truly recognized that each of these persons is created in the image of God and treat them with such amazing dignity and respect. Many of them were abandoned by their parents on the Church steps and the brothers took them in and clothed them, fed them and loved them with a love that could only come from God. 

People say that Haiti is hell on earth, but like one of the team members said "I feel like I have just been in heaven." 

Please continue to pray for Haiti and for the Missionaries of the Poor as they daily do the work of God. Thank you all for your prayers, we had a safe and productive mission. All Glory to God!

 

2 Comments:

Blogger owen swain said...

Russ, happily I have Internet here at the rectory where I am in the early days of the Lenten mission so I am pleased to be able to read your update. It was so encouraging to read of the manifest of Christ to the poor through the Brothers.

The pastors of the parish were I am this week are also deeply loving and unselfish as they serve a large immigrant population and a very mixed one including Mexican, Italian, Portuguese and English. I won't hijack your combox with my impressions but after a little over 24 hours I am deeply impressed.

God bless you and thank you for your own sacrifice. Clearly God is returning the blessing to you and your wife.

February 26, 2012 9:25 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

We need more posts like this, because those of us who don't get such opportunities need to be educated (with first hand examples) on what the Church is doing throughout the world.

Thanks!

February 27, 2012 1:51 PM  

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