Thursday, February 04, 2010

Mission of Healing... Mission of Hope

Sorry for the slow cycle, gang... the road called -- but, as tends to happen, not without yielding a moving story.

As for its source, your narrator spent the day in New York for some business at The NET -- the Brooklyn diocese's newly-rechristened TV station and home-base of, among others, the celebrated Deacon Greg Kandra.

Along the way, as the Emmy-winning news director and his staff were preparing their nightly newscast, the crew shared one item for this Wednesday's Currents: a look at Haiti's lone free pediatric hospital -- St Damien's, founded and run by a US-born Passionist priest, Fr Rick Frechette (right).

A DO alongside his CP who's built 18 schools and several street clinics alongside the hospital, Frechette was caring for his dying mother in the States when last month's 7.0-magnitude quake devastated much of his adopted country.

Afterwards, so he wrote, the missionary's mom ordered him "to go [back]. The problems there are worse than mine."

He did... and while St Damien's building suffered only minor damage, not only has the demand for care been overwhelming (and supplies running out), but a report in the quake's wake showed the staff working outside to avoid aftershocks.

To aid the ongoing efforts, an impromptu medical team of eleven -- all members of a Passionist-run parish in North Carolina -- left for St Damien's last week.

So they wouldn't add to an already pressing food shortage, the nine docs and two nurses brought along their own meals -- and, thanks to the local medical community, a "massive" infusion of supplies.

Bottom line: the news-cycle might've begun to move on. As always, though, with every gift and from every part, this church is in for the long haul.

They rarely get the credit they deserve... but, in a word, it's what our kind do best.