November 2023 Update

Happy turkey day!

For our American friends, Thanksgiving day is looming! For the rest of us, at least, every day is a day to thank the Good Lord for life and happiness. This is certainly the case for our children in Sarnelli House. They come tentatively fearful, but within days, find love, happiness, and humor. We get them into school as fast as we can. The wee ones will have to wait to get to school age. They enjoy being waited on, and fight like tinkers over a toy.

For Catholics, the News is about our Marian procession ending a month dedicated to Mother Mary. Catholics go from house to house in October to pray the rosary, and the rosary in different houses on different nights is highlighted by a procession from Pai Si Tong village, to Don Wai, ending in the Don Wai cemetery for both villages. There, Fr. Black will offer Mass, and this Saturday morning people from many villages will come with their priests, for a Mass and after Mass, each burial site is blessed with a prayer, and sprinkled with Holy Water. This includes graves belonging to our children, house mothers and other adults, including donors and our own Fr. Dick Strass.

Meanwhile, work continues on our new chicken coop. The rains delayed the job being finished. Once that is done, baby chickens and ducklings will be bought and raised there. Then we will begin renovating our bakery into a home for our four badly brain damaged babies. I was told that the government is quite interested in this project, as they have more children they want to give us. We agreed to take these babies, one of whom was found barely alive in a garbage bag, on a garbage heap. The baby was tied up in the bag, and then the parents clubbed it, thinking they killed it. Another baby was smuggled on to the Bangkok – Nongkhai train, and abandoned there. The baby was found by a conductor, who gave the baby to a government orphanage, which reluctantly took the baby and are awaiting the opening of our new building.

I, some of the staff and volunteers all eat at Charlene House at Noon. Last Wednesday, Brian O’Riordan grilled hamburgers, and the kitchen crew made a salad. All was good and very tasty. Early Thursday, I received a phone call saying that the whole kitchen crew had tested positive for Covid. Kate, our nurse, came out later to check us all. Thank God we all tested negative. The ladies in the kitchen are all in quarantine, so hopefully all are safe and the Covid bug dies.

So another October has drawn to an end! I hope all are well and enjoying life. We only get one, so we’d better live it well and with joy and happiness!


Fr. Mike Shea and all the staff and children at Sarnelli House

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