Category Archives: Special Collections

We Need Your Help!

Our fiscal year is coming to a close on June 30th and we need your help to meet our budget numbers. We are currently at 88% of our Annual Appeal budget and need to collect about $40,000 in order to meet that goal. Together with the Offertory donations, the Annual Appeal accounts for 90% of the parish’s total revenue. This revenue funds all the clergy and lay staff, utilities, buildings and grounds maintenance, and many parish ministries.

Please take this opportunity to reflect on the role that St. John’s plays in your life and the life of your family.  The strength and vitality of our parish community comes from our collective contributions – large and small.  Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Donations may be placed in the collection basket at Mass or dropped off/mailed to the Parish Office.  If you prefer, you may donate online through WeShare, our online giving program, by clicking the link below. There’s no need to set up an account – anyone can make a one-time donation using a Credit Card, Debit Card or a Checking/Savings Direct Withdrawal.  

Thank you for your continued generous support of St. John the Evangelist Parish.

Lenten Gift Thank You from NPH USA

The greatest gift we offer our children when they enter our home is the sense of security and hope that once again they are a part of a family. A family that promises them they will never have to go back to where they have come from whether it be living on the streets, going days without food, never stepping inside a school, never seeing a doctor, never having shoes to put on their feet, or the fear of where they will end up after losing their parents. A family that provides the comfort of knowing they will always have food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, and an education. A family that loves them unconditionally and strives to instill the importance of forgiveness, strength, hard work and perseverance so that they will not live in the past but strive to change their future. This promise is evident at each and every one of our homes. There is a moment as each child settles into the home where if you watch closely, you can witness this transformation and see them smile from their eyes. It is in this moment, you know the child has found hope.

This feeling of security was significantly impacted on September 9th when the earthquake hit Mexico resulting in over 5 million dollars in damages to our NPH Mexico home that threatened the core of our programs. During a time when so many significant global disasters were occurring, our NPH home feared it would be years before being able to identify the funding to rebuild and return that sense of security back to our children while meeting their daily needs. It was in that moment, the mission of NPH came to life by the outpouring of support from our greater NPH family network of supporters, who returned that sense of hope, security, and sense of unconditional love. We cannot begin to thank the St. John – St. Paul Collaborative community enough for ensuring our children have hope. We are touched beyond words with your $20,011.00 of financial support to our NPH Mexico children. On behalf of our children, thank you from the bottom of our heart.

Monica Henry & Elizabeth Caletka
NPH USA Team

Our 2018 Collaborative Lenten Gift – Special Second Collection March 17-18

We invite you to participate in this outreach to our little NPH brothers and sisters in Miacatlán. Donations are accepted with our second collection this weekend, by mail to the parish office, or online: 

We thank you for your support, it is appreciated and will make a difference in the children’s lives.  For more information, please visit our Lenten Gift page.

An Update from NPH Mexico: Since the Earthquake…

February 26, 2018 – Mexico: Hipólito is a 9-year-old boy studying 3rd grade. September 19, 2017, will be a day he will never forget.

“That afternoon we were all very still, we already knew that something serious had happened. My friends and I only heard that the old chapel was badly damaged, and also the schools and the dining hall.

Our caregivers explained to us what had just happened and tried to make sure everyone was calm, because there were some children who were crying. They were nervous or maybe scared, I guess. 

I remember there was no electricity that night and the whole hacienda (home) was very dark.  Since our dormitories weren’t safe to sleep in, we all slept together outside so we would not be afraid, and some of us had candles.

Starting that day, school was suspended for a few weeks. The teachers were at the home to carry out activities with the children to distract them. The psychologists gave support workshops to all the kids so that they could express their feelings, and they gave them reading materials and did relaxation exercises.

The dining hall and kitchen had to be closed. We created a temporary dining hall and kitchen under large tents in the main courtyard.

 

After a few weeks, classes resumed under tarps with blackboards hanging on the sides.

“At the beginning, we liked having classes there, it was something different. But after a while we got bored, it was hot even under the tarps. Besides, since everyone passed by, it was easier to be distracted and to start chatting with friends,” says Hipólito of his experience in outdoors classes.

 

Fortunately, the schools have already been repaired and our children returned to their classrooms on January 31. “I am happy because we can have ‘normal’ classes now. We spent several months like that, and we thought it would take much longer to go back to our classrooms because they were very damaged.”

NPH Mexico has taken big steps since the earthquake—thanks to generous donors—to help the children return to their classrooms. There is still a great need to repair the dining hall and kitchen as more than 400 children continue to eat outside.

Some of the children’s dormitories still need repairs, and many other structural issues to our home still need to be addressed. For the time being, we will continue rebuilding our facilities so that our children enjoy their days with dignity, and above all, in safe spaces.

The Collection for our Lenten gift will be taken up at all Masses next weekend March 17 & 18. As we embrace the three-fold Lenten discipline of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we invite you to participate in this outreach to our little brothers and sisters in Miacatlán.

For more information, please visit our Lenten Gift page.

A Devastating Earthquake

Last week, we identified the rebuilding of the boys’ and girls’ dormitories at the NPH facility in Miacatlan, Mexico as the project to which we would dedicate this year’s Lenten gift from the Saint John-Saint Paul Collaborative. As in all of the homes sponsored by NPH, the children being cared for in Miacatlan have had tough childhoods. Many have lived in dangerous or unsanitary conditions, begged or scavenged for food, suffered abuse, or had no stable family life, and have lacked proper nutrition and health care.

Imagine how thrilled each of these children must have felt when brought to the loving and familial atmosphere of Casa San Salvador in Miacatlan, which is 77 miles southwest of Mexico City. The Casa is an old converted sugar plantation and serves more than 400 children. Always bustling with activity, its facilities are extensive and offer a small town feel. The home features girls’ and boys’ dormitories, a healthcare clinic, a primary school, a kitchen, a cafeteria, athletic facilities, a library, and a chapel.

This wonderful environment has been compromised by the 7.1 magnitude earthquake of last September. In the middle school boys’ dormitory, there are serious cracks needing repair before it is safe for them to return.

Currently, 160 boys are living in another dormitory in a space only fit for 80. The girls’ dormitory needs repair to its sewage system before the rainy season begins. During significantly rainy days, eight inches of rain have been building up outside of their dormitory, resulting in over an inch of water coming into their rooms.

There are so many needy causes that need attention today that we had no shortage of opportunities from which to choose a recipient. However, the Service Commission chose NPH in Miacatlan both to have an immediate impact for good and also to further the relationship begun last year that has resulted in so many families in the Collaborative sponsoring a young boy or girl. As we embrace the three-fold Lenten discipline of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we invite you to participate in this outreach to our little brothers and sisters in Miacatlan.

For more information, please visit our Lenten Gift page.

Announcing Our 2018 Collaborative Lenten Gift

Over the fall of 2017, our Collaborative heard much about Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, (NPH), as we had visitors from NPH Guatemala. Many families hosted our NPH friends, and even more families signed up to sponsor children. This year, the St. John-St. Paul Collaborative has selected NPH Mexico for our 2018 Lenten gift.

On September 19, a devastating 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Central Mexico. The earthquake struck very close to NPH’s homes and schools in Miacatlán. Thankfully, none of children, volunteers or staff were harmed, but estimates of the damage to their facilities were significant.

Specifically, we will be contributing towards the rebuilding of the boys and girls dormitories. We hope to help NPH Mexico restore its facilities so they can continue their mission of transforming young people’s lives.

The Story of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos

In 1954, more than six decades ago, in Cuernavaca, Mexico a young and hungry boy stole money from a church collection box in order to purchase food. He was arrested and due to receive a harsh sentence for his crime. However, the newly ordained priest of the church, Father William B. Wasson, asked the court to show mercy. He requested custody of the boy so that he could provide for the boy’s needs, and the judge accepted. Throughout that year, Father Wasson received 32 more boys, and Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos was born.

Since then, NPH has been transforming the lives of thousands of orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children. One of the unique features of NPH is that when they accept one child into the home, they take all siblings so that the sense of family continues. It is not considered an orphanage; it is more like a large family. NPH provides a safe home and a loving forever family that offers security, vital nutrition, comprehensive healthcare, an education, and vocational training to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. Currently, there are over 3,200 children in nine NPH homes in Latin American countries.

For more information, please visit our Lenten Gift page.

Thank You from NPH!

Thank you to the whole St. John-St. Paul Collaborative Community for your amazing support of NPH and the pequeños during their recent visit! We are excited to announce that our Collaborative sponsored 105 children and donated over $14,000 to NPH. A special thank you to the families of our collaborative who opened their homes to host the students and their chaperones: the Fantozzi, Gutierrez, Jones, Kehoe, Ronco/Rhind and Sullivan families. Thank you to all volunteers who helped at the sponsorship tables. Thank you to the DelVecchio family for opening their home to the whole group for a celebration at the end of the visit and to Annas Taqueria for generously donating the food. Thank you to Mimi Eldridge for volunteering to help facilitate the visit and for her tireless work to make it such a great success.

Thank You From NPH!

Thank you to the whole St. John-St. Paul Collaborative Community for your amazing support of NPH and the pequeños who visited us last weekend! To date, we have raised over $11,000 and signed up 77 total new sponsorships!

This is the last weekend that the sponsorship tables will be set up, so be sure to sign up to sponsor a child today.

Our Guests from Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH)

In two short weeks, the NPH Pequeño Tour will be coming to St. John and St. Paul Parishes! The group will be from the NPH home in Guatemala and we will be splitting their time between the two parishes. For each Mass over the weekend of October 7/8, there will either be a speaker from the NPH University Program, or the whole group will provide music and dancing!

This is a wonderful chance for you and your families to experience the mission of NPH and meet some of the children who have been served through NPH programs. Please look at the following schedule and plan accordingly. This is a holiday weekend and there is no Religious Education, but if you are in town, you and your family will not want to miss this, and we hope you will come and help us to provide a very warm welcome to our visitors. The musicians and dancers will be helping us with our liturgy at the following Masses:

St. John: Saturday, Oct 7 at the 5:00pm Vigil Mass and Sunday Oct 8, at the 5:00pm Mass
St. Paul: Sunday, Oct 8 at the 7:30am, 9:00am and 11:00am Masses
All other Masses will have a University Speaker.

We will also be kicking off an NPH sponsorship campaign next weekend. Our “30 Kids in 30 Days” campaign will strive to find thirty sponsorships at each of our parishes! So make sure you stop by a sponsorship table after Mass, starting next weekend, to see how you can make a real difference in the life of a pequeño! Thank you!

To learn more, here are some helpful links and videos for you to check out:

NPH International website

NPH USA website

Cardinal Sean on NPH USA

NPH Family: Celebrating 60 Years

NPH Path to Success

 

 

 

Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) are coming to the St. John-St. Paul Collaborative!

The St. John-St. Paul Collaborative is welcoming this group of students from the NPH home in Guatemala to be with us at Masses on the weekend of October 7-8, giving testimony, dancing, and helping to lead the music at some of the Masses. The students will be staying in Wellesley from October 3-10 with families from our parishes.

NPH USA supports Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH, Spanish for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”), which works to transform the lives of orphaned, abandoned, and disadvantaged children in Latin America and the Caribbean. Currently, NPH is raising more than 3,200 children throughout nine homes in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru. An additional 2,300 students who live outside the homes receive scholarships, meals, and health care. NPH’s outreach services assist more than 100,000 people every year. Truly, this organization is changing lives for the better.

The organization was started in 1954 by a Catholic priest, Fr. William Wasson, in Cuernavaca Mexico. Fr. Wasson was called to the police station in Cuernavaca, where the police had arrested a young boy who had stolen from Fr. Wasson’s church collection plate. When Fr. Wasson met the young boy, he asked him why he stole, to which the boy replied that he was trying to get money to feed himself. Fr. Wasson decided not to press charges, but told the police he would take the boy back to the parish, where he would give him a home and everything he needed so that he wouldn’t have to steal anymore. By the end of the month, the police had given Fr. Wasson seven more children to take care of in the same way – children they had arrested or taken off the street where they had nothing.

Fr. Wasson gave these children a home, and more importantly, gave them hope for a better life. By the end of the year, Fr. Wasson had to buy property to take care of all the children he was given by the authorities. And NPH was officially born!

NPH’s mission is quite simple:

Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos™, inspired by Christian values, strives to create a loving and safe family environment for vulnerable children living in extreme conditions. Through comprehensive education, healthcare and spiritual formation we give the children the opportunity to develop their potential, shaping better futures for themselves, their families and their communities.

To learn more, here are some helpful links and videos for you to check out:

NPH International website

www.nphusa.org

Cardinal Sean on NPH USA

NPH Family: Celebrating 60 Years

NPH Path to Success