Below is a passage you may have heard before.
There is a time for everything. . . .
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot. . . .
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance. . . .
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
If I look back at the time we spent together this past year, I find many parallels in these words.
P.S. Should you have some extra time, our Summer Newsletter is now also available online here.
P.P.S. There is a time for everything, and the time has come for us to retire the title of "Note from Our President." You will now be receiving your monthly updates from me personally. I look forward to sharing many more stories of how your support is changing the lives of our young citizens!
You must know the old adage, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Well, during this time of the year, Romans usually relax and go on vacation to get away from the hot and humid eternal city. You can tell that only a few people are in town by the empty streets.
Our board member, Robert Iommazzo, had less than three days available in his very busy work schedule, and decided to use them to come to Rome. But not to do as the Romans do in summer time…
Magic is the art of producing illusions by sleight of hand or trick props. I have learned one or two tricks so that when I visit the children in our programs in Italy, India or Ethiopia I can communicate with them despite the language barrier. One of my favorite routines is the mysterious disappearance of a red tissue.
The 40 boys in our “town” at St. Savio’s Home in Pavaraity, India, need not check the weather forecast before they go to school. They know that every day at 7 AM there will be heavy showers.
So, they put on their swimming suits, go to a gathering point outside, and wait for the rain with a soap and a bath sponge in their hands. The water does not come from heavy clouds in the sky, but from an ingenious system created by the program directors who take care of them. They could not afford to build 40 showers so they created a fun way to get all the kids washed in time for school.
“I have a confession to make,” I told the almost 400 seminarians at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, during one of my trips to India a few years ago. They looked at me, baffled. Had I had sinned so gravely that I needed an absolution from 400 future priests?
I confessed that when I was very young, I was a seminarian, too. But I left after one day! You see, my pastor talked me into entering the seminary with promises of a beautiful soccer field. I soon found out being a priest requires more than that.
Of my four children, Chiara, who is now six, is the troublemaker. Despite her innocent look, she is constantly setting fires.
On the first day of school, her teacher Miss D. asked her, “What does your father do for a living?”
Without hesitation, Chiara replied, “My father takes money from the rich and gives it to the poor. He is a like Robin Hood… He usually goes to rich people’s homes at night… he brings his people with him to do the job…”
Not too long ago, my four-year-old daughter Arianna was struggling with a simple math problem in pre-kindergarten.
To help her with the concept of addition, I formulated the problem in a different way and asked her, “If you hold three apples on one hand and four apples on the other hand, how many apples do you hold in total?”
Without hesitation, she replied, “Two!”
I don’t watch much television. As a matter of fact, I only watch the Italian news channel when I go home after work, if my children have not already started watching a cartoon and hidden the remote control somewhere in the backyard so I cannot change the channel.
Do you know who Michelangelo was?
I am sure your first thought will go to the famous artist of the Italian Renaissance born in 1475, much-admired for the "David" and "Pietà" statues and the ceiling paintings of Rome's Sistine Chapel. But the Michelangelo I am referring to is somehow even more important … at least for us.
Did it ever happen to you? It’s one of the most socially unpleasant situations that could occur. Someone approaches you warmly; addresses you by your first name; mentions details or situations of your personal life not many know … yet you have no idea who is in front of you.