Section title text:  Recent News.

Graduation in Maasin, Philippines                                  By Margaret Sheehan fcJ
Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 2008

Group of Graduating boys.On Wednesday March 19th, 2008. the Feast of St Joseph, which was quite appropriate for us, we had our biggest group of boys yet graduating from elementary school.  They were ten in all.  Eight live in the house and two live with their parents but we pay for their education.  Four of the boys have been here from the very beginning of St. Joseph’s Boys’ Home.  

I said to them the other day that it was a miracle seeing them in a toga.  In the beginning I would take them to school and often also failed to find them by 7:30am.  I would go home to change my clothes for another day in our little shack and almost everyday I would be confronted by three of them already in the plaza by 9am, having left school!  I often spent the day looking for them and many times didn’t find them. The teachers in those early days were very patient with them. They understood all too well where these children were coming from.

Sr. Margaret and others with the graduates.They should all have graduated last year. They all started school in June 2001.  I went home to Ireland early in August 2001 and by then the children were having all their meals in the priest’s house.

On August 15th  the feast of Our Lady of the Assumption,  their table was set with the most beautiful food you could imagine.

They had their breakfast while the Bishop said Mass in the Cathedral.  At the end of the Mass, to the horror of the cook, she realized that the food set for the Bishop and the Governor had been eaten by the children!  

After this, the governor issued a statement that all the street children in Maasin had to be sent away.  When I arrived back at the end of August I discovered there were no children left so I figured I would be looking for another job.  I began to go to the prison for pastoral visiting. By November the children had returned and the rest as they say is history!

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