March 2024 Update

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

I suppose our friends in the cold and snowy areas are, for the most part, happy to see spring looming up on the horizon! I still remember my seminary days, when I had the job of getting up early to plow snow on the seminary road, so the priests could get out to offer Masses in old folks’ homes, etc. They were cold trips on the tractor and plow! Plus, I had to start up and turn on the heaters of their cars, so that they could have a toasty and warm trip.

We are getting an influx of babies and older children. One group is made up of five brothers and sisters. Most of the kids are normal, except that at first, they are overwhelmed by the boisterous crowd of kids they meet. Some of the girls come so traumatized that we have to send them to the psychiatric clinic for treatment for their mental problems. Other little girls know something bad happened to them, but can’t articulate what it really was. But after they get here for a while, they seem to relax and get carefree enough to laugh and play with their mates, and forget what was done to them. However, as they grow older, memories come back and we quickly get them professional help. One girl told me that no one forgets what happened to them, but do not talk about it. I think getting them to strangers, people they don’t know or live with, is best, because they will talk to the doctors. Even the boys sent to us with drug problems, will open up readily to the folks at the hospital. But your interest and generosity makes our lives easier here, what with soaring educational expenses and dealing with trauma in various forms. 

We have been busy taking in babies and curtain climbers, plus older children. A few have AIDS, and others have been abandoned by parents taking drugs and selling drugs. The Welfare people get the children and send them on to us. The idea is to take care of the children, and educate them until their folks get out of prison, but that has never happened. Some parents come to see their kids, and make vague promises to return to fetch them, but that almost never happens.

Renovating the old bakery is going well. Bathrooms are added, and sinks and bathing areas are being installed. Windows and doors are being replaced. Next will be air conditioners. This will be the home for babies who have severe physical and mental problems, and their caregivers. We are blessed that a therapist from Holland and his wife come 7-8 months a year, to work with the babies and children who are crippled from AIDS, from mothers who took drugs during pregnancy, or from accidents.
Sarnelli is in our 25th year of existence, and we thank almighty God for the blessings we receive from Him, and especially from friends of the children, like you. May the Good Lord bless you and keep you healthy and happy.

Fr. Mike, children and staff

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