Can We Help?

While I was growing up, my father used to tell me about the holiness of Blessed Padre Pio and how my uncle had a tremendous conversion during World War II after attending one of his Masses. I remember as a young doctor reading with fascination about how Blessed Padre Pio helped build a hospital for the needy in his area. I was fascinated how this holy priest who was so committed to saving souls also took time to do the corporal works of mercy by trying to address the medical needs of the locals.

Years later, while I was traveling and speaking on Divine Mercy, people came up to me and prayed with me and talked about Padre Pio. One group in Scotland, for example, had one of his gloves that he wore to cover the stigmata; another group had a relic.

Being a medical doctor - and one who has visited and seen the poor in many countries around the globe - I have long dreamed to assist in the building of a clinic for the poor. But where would it be, and how could I accomplish such a task?

By the grace of God, I've got plans that could fulfill this dream of mine.

But allow me first to back up. I'm the founder of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), an apostolate of the Marian Fathers. Working together with the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy and the Association of Marian Helpers in Stockbridge, Mass., we promote and teach the authentic forms of the message and devotion to The Divine Mercy and encourage people to live out the message of mercy in their daily lives. Through our efforts, there are now thousands of Divine Mercy Cenacles - small prayer groups - around the world, including hundreds in the island nation of the Philippines.

EADM has a long history in the Philippines, including evangelization and works of mercy. Over the years, we've collected and shipped to the Philippines hundreds of much-needed medical supplies - from high-tech imaging and IV infusion equipment to ordinary stethoscopes and crutches. And, of course, our cenacle program has helped transform countless lives.

In July, I visited the Divine Mercy Shrine on the island of Mindanao, Philippines, where the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception serve as missionaries. I met with the Marians' Father General Andrzej Pakula, MIC, and Vice General Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC. Both were there on official Congregation business. The Marians have a house of formation on Mindanao with several postulants, and they are also caretakers of the Shrine. We walked the grounds and saw an ideal spot for a clinic about one quarter of a mile from the Shrine.

Then we met with Most Rev. Antonio Javellana Ledesma, S.J., D.D., Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro. He went with us to visit a local hospital so we could get a sense of the medical needs. He was very supportive and excited about the possibility of us building near the beautiful Divine Mercy Shrine and church currently under construction. Current plans are to build a small medical/dental clinic with a conference room for basic teaching of nutrition, hygiene and natural family planning.

We also visited several other hospitals and saw where medical supplies we sent were being used. The people were so appreciative of the supplies. I also visited an orphanage housing young, abandoned street girls. It was there where I saw something very heartening. A while back, my wife and I had personally shipped a crib and playpen that our daughter Clare had outgrown - and there it was! It was being used in the orphanage! It was so heartwarming to actually see something donated personally being put to good use halfway around the world!

Although exact numbers are not in, we've been writing up estimates on how much our proposed facility - and the equipment needed - will cost. We figure from $200,000 to $225,000. As for procuring the land, we are working to get it donated, and we're in discussions to determine maintenance costs and who will be responsible for them.

I would love to come and speak to your prayer group or parish on how you can assist EADM in this endeavor. Feel free to call our EADM office at 1-877-380-0727. Also, financial donations are welcomed and needed. Please help us. You may send donations to:

MarianHelpers Center
Eden Hill
Stockbridge, MA 01263

Please use the code "YU" on your donations so the funds get applied to the clinic project.

Dr. Bryan Thatcher is the founder of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), an apostolate of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. Learn how to start a Divine Mercy cenacle in your area.

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