My desire for you

My photo
Jinotepe, Nicaragua
Hello, friends! I hope this story reaches you well and that God touch you in the depths of your heart. All we need to do is open them and our world CHANGES! Blessings, Pat.

December 23, 2009

Who stole the Baby Jesus from Christmas?

Peace and greetings to all!

Dear Jesus,

Sadly, it appears that Santa Claus, or someone out there, robbed you from Christmas a long time ago. It is head spinning to see what Christmas has become.

I know for sure that Christmas was not like it is now when my grandparents were growing up, because they never stopped telling me. Nor would they have allowed any one to rob the Christ child from the crib, as has happened in our day.

This is the biggest crime of the Century, but since sex is not involved no one is paying attention. I personally think this crime is a very serious offence to my faith as a Christian, and even more so as an (Irish) Catholic. I really believe that we have to organize to get you , the baby Jesus, back into the heart of Christmas, even if it be a handful of crazy people, who take their faith seriously and joined Advent Conspiracy.

For me, this relatively new movement is what I would call a new Christian + Catholic conversion experience with an old theme; the sort of conversion experience that all the Prophets, John the Baptist and Jesus himself, were extremely passionate about, the conversion of the heart.

Some might ask why do we need a “new conversion experience” as a people in the United States, after all we are the most generous in the world. I would say, for a starter, that we need a new conversion experience because our young people are being spiritually assassinated by a materialistic - consumerist society gone completely out of control.

While I was visiting a Guatemalan friend in Nashville, I took my wife and son to the Gran Ole Opery Mall (just to let the kid run around some where) and it was so big we got lost. While I tried to find my way out of there, I saw hundreds of advertisements with happy faces of families, super well dressed young people and sexy skinny models everywhere. But, when I looked at the face of most of the people there, quiet honestly I did not see that many happy faces.

I have no doubt that in the midst of all the “worlds’ crisis’s” in the economy, in our morality, on our planet and in our families, God is calling us to change. Gods will is for us to re-focus the core of our relationships with one another, in every aspect of life and society on a global level. This confirms what I have learnt from Theologians and Christians in Latin America; we have to choose between the God of Life and the God of $. If we really, really read the Scriptures, like you did, it is clear there is no middle ground on this issue, but in our Country few have the courage to preach the way you lived and taught.

Over my 16 years in Latin America, I have also seen (as you did in Nazareth) how too little material wealth destroys human life, erodes even the most basic human goodness, evaporates simple honesty and creates a culture of corruption and survival at any cost. I see this every day in Nicaragua and it is very sad and disturbing to me. You saw the same thing in the Religious leaders of the Holy Temple of your day.

On the other hand, when I come home during “Christmas time” or really any time, I see how too much affluence and money clearly destroys the soul and those around it. I see this in my own loved ones. This all seems to happen without people even really knowing what is going on.

As a good friend of mine, Fr. Patrick Clark, who has been living in Sao Paulo, Brazil and working for 30 years in the slums wrote to me in a recent email about this same issue: “the agenda of the consumer society … I am sure is one of the root causes of most depression, neurosis and compulsivity that currently plague our planet, and one of the main casualties of which is the impoverishment of all spiritual life. In a way, it is quite easy to see how the life of faith does not flourish in the mass consumer emporia that we have created in the Western world. It is, as you so rightly say, a place where values, faith and the soul itself, are destroyed.

Here in the third world, where the poor are forever reminding you that they are there and that you live in isolation from them at your spiritual peril, you have some chance of being awakened to the depths of your Christian calling. But what if no one ever knocks on your door? What if when they do, all you can do or say is to get angry because they have disturbed your peace? That private peace that is your hard won ~right~ which no one can disturb. Then, if that is your way of life, shored up by an obsessively individualistic culture of ego needs that can be instantaneously met, you are surely on the road to spiritual and even human bankruptcy. And what of the gospel? How can it be preached in such a place?

The hope, for me, is there are so many people who are preaching the Gospel by their example. They understand the life and death issue that this choice implies, and for me, this has everything to do with living our Christian - Catholic Faith to fullest.


If a few people organized and planed the hijacking of the baby Jesus from Christmas, then you don’t need allot of people to take him back; you just need a few people who have a lot of faith! That is how you move mountains, not with numbers, but with FAITH!

Jesus, I hope that you get your rightful place back in the center of our homes and hearts this Christmas!

And may you please come knocking on my door and give me the courage to open it wide!

Patrick T. Duffy, Jr.
Charles de Foucauld Lay Missionary

November 30, 2009

Getting ready for Jesus by putting him back in the center of Christmas

Peace and greetings to all!

Here is an opportunity to get Jesus back from those who robbed him from Christ

October 24, 2009

May 12, 2009



Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America. In some of the rural areas there exist the highest suicide rates in all of Latin America. Generalized poverty conditions, high unemployment rates and forced immigration are the sad reality for the majority of Nicaraguan families. Yet, in spite of all the odds the majority of the Nicaraguans are a people of deep faith and hope.

Patrick Duffy is a North American Catholic Lay Pastoral Minister who has recently partnered with NPH Nicaragua. Throughout his many years in Central and South America, he has tried to build small Christian communities and jumpstart the faith formation of the people of Nicaragua, especially the youth. The Religious Education Program at NPH, organized by the Directors and Patrick, is built on three pillars: Scripture – Spirituality of Fr. Wasson – Christian Leadership

From years of experience in mission and work with youth at risk, Pat is convinced that our work as Christians must be creating hope in the midst of hopeless situations…¨In fact, the message of Scripture is always one of hope no matter the circumstances we are under. The majority of the Scriptures we have today were born out of situations similar to those of Latin American: oppression of the poor, corrupt empires supported by pseudo religion, etc.

Pat has learnt from his experience that when you open and delve into the Scriptures with the poor and the youth, you can indeed find hope and offer a faith filled approach to life. Specific to his work in Nicaragua, is the idea of the common people holding the scriptures in their hands and learning to interpret its message for their everyday reality. Pat believes that Scripture is the true source of all true liberation both on the personal and societal level.

Springing from years of experience and in partnership of the Faith and Life Institute, the creators of the Catholic Youth Bible (CYB), Patrick has decided to make scripture one of the main priorities with the young adults of NPH Nicaragua. The Faith and Life Institute, out of Stockton California, has organized “The First Bilingual Biblical Mission Among Young People In The Americas – 2009”. This effort is part of a Continental wide Catholic Youth Bible Mission and has been organized by the Faith and Life Institute in partnership with Editorial Verbo Divino, Producciones Dynamis, and Saint Mary’s Press with the collaboration of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) and Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (CELAM).

The Nuestros Pequeños Orphanage and Pats is to implement this Continental Wide Biblical Mission in all of the NPH homes in Latin America who are interested, which includes offering the CYB to youth who demonstrate a concrete commitment to do 20 hours of out reach effort in their communities and who desire to participate in 20 hours of introductory biblical study courses, as well as one Biblical Retreat. At the end of the courses and retreat, the youth of NPH will be given certificates and their very own Catholic Youth Bible. Patrick and the directors of NPH Nicaragua have planned biblical retreats for the entire year of 2009 for all of the NPH staff and youth.

Weekly Biblical reflection circles have already met for a year at the two homes in Managua. Monthly reflection groups exist in Casa Santiago on the island and the newest home of Casa Padre Wasson. The small reflection groups serve as a medium in which youth can reflect on their lives and connect their experiences from light of the scriptures in order to improve their lives at NPH. The idea of reflecting and studying scripture is new for many of the youth at NPH Nicaragua and will surely take time to fully realize.

Father Wasson, the Founder of NPH was honed in the scriptures. You may say that they were what planted the seeds to start NPH. Fr. Bill Wasson left a living testimony and an example to follow. To maintain his spirit alive among us it is essential for the children, teenagers and educators of NPH to have a deep understanding of his life and essential message.

Currently there are workshops planned to study his teachings and Philosophy, as well as initiatives to produce a small Children’s book on the life of Father Wasson and other small booklets on the essential teachings of his life.

There are also plans, in all of the NPH centers to offer participative Youth Masses and Celebrations of the Work as a means to enrich and deepen the understanding of the Eucharist. Lastly, Patrick and the rest of the NPH staff hope to train potential Christian leaders to lead small groups or lead celebrations of the word in all the NPH – Nicaragua homes.

This project is planting one small seed at a time together with the youth of NPH. The Directors of NPH and Patrick hope that in through the study of scripture and Father Wasson’s life the youth will begin to create a new hope in their lives and enable them to create a future full of hope.

March 02, 2009

February 22, 2009



my name is Patrick Duffy, Jr. I am a native to Cincinnati, Ohio

most significant transformative experience occurred on the Streets of
Sao Paulo, Brazil. Those were the years when violence and systematic
assassinations of street children was at a peak. The goal of life
during that period was to live in the midst of the poor, to walk with
them and share their life.

good works consisted of going out to visit the kids on the Streets:
to lose time with them, to build trust, friendships and simply
listen. Over time, we were able to offer a few alternative activities
to life on the streets.

day, a little boy named, Ricardo (who was a ¨marked¨ kid due
to his terrible reputations on the streets) simply disappeared.
Reflecting on that experience changed me deeply. I came to the
conclusion that I was going to dedicate my life to working for the
Gospel of Justice.

I leant from those years in Brazil is that: ¨
Justice is
always going to be harder not only because it is long-term, but also
because a true awareness of justice leads to ongoing conversion and
many times an awareness of the relationship between our wealth and
other's poverty. It is hard to own that and also to move to change
that. Many times charity does not call for a change in our
lifestyle. Often a commitment to justice eventually does call
for that change.¨ (this is a quote and I don´t remember
where I got it from)

present work in Nicaragua is teaching Scripture to Youth at Risk and
seeking to build a small Christian community, rooted in the
Spirituality of Brother Charles de Foucauld.

most important relationships today are with God and my family.
Nicaragua is now my home, where I live here with my wife, Damarys and
son, Christopher.

February 02, 2009

2008 Partners In Mission Nicaragua Report

Peace and greetings to all! 



Thanks to the Partners In Mission Nicaragua Oversight Teams, the NCCF and to each individual who has helped through prayers, donations, fundraising, mailings, organizing our data base, the Lay Pastoral Ministry Project has been a very significant and important Mission in sharing the Good News with the poor of Nicaragua in 2008.



Upon returning from Cincinnati this past June I visited the La Garnacha to see how the Water Project we started back in March of 2007 was evolving.


To my delight, after meeting with Fr. Patrick and Brother Joe Barnett, I learnt that the Community had followed up on the Workshop on Community organizing we initiated in 2007 to motivate the La Garnacha community to seek a solution to the water problems that plagued their community and affected the health of their kids, especially during the dry season.

The Good News is they were able to organize themselves and with the assistance of local municipal organizations obtain financing. They got to work and overhauled the outdated tubing system, amplified the spring box according to the recommendations of the Water specialist from Living Waters and Amigos for Christ, who I had taken there on previous visits.

The cost for the workshop and facilitators were paid for in agreement with the donation that came from the Richmond Virginia Dioceses. This Parish was the first group to initiate the H20 Project, in partnership with Colleen Branger. Colleen is a fellow classmate who I partnered up to do an ART project on the Water Issue (Action – Reflection – Transformation) as the practicum for a Course on Catholic Social Teaching.

The balance of the funds raised by this Parish will be invested in a new water project that can potentially benefit over 1000 families. I will keep Colleen and her Parish informed on the progress and distributions of those funds. I personally financed all the transportation costs separately to honor the %100 for water condition from that donation. This has been the longest and most challenging home work assignment in my life!

In the process I have learned a great deal about the issue of Water Privatization and how Water projects work and are funded. I have researched and found the “preferred” way to go about this sort of Mission in the future. In a nut shell, most big organizations pay for expensive engineering studies as a first step and often have high overhead costs. The cost of those studies often reduces the amount raised for water improvement significantly. Even though these studies are often necessary, many times they are not. In the future, for others who are interested in implementing this project can go to:

Implementing a Water Project is not simply a matter of sending in the specialist to drill a well for the people, take some pictures and send them home to the donors. What is always more important is that the people become the main actors, organize and implement the project, or the result can be abandoned wells. Often times the people cannot afford to pay for the diesel or electricity to keep the water pump functioning. So, one important criterion is that there be a Community organizer who can do the follow up on the maintenance needs and water conservation education. Follow up is the key to a successful water project.

My plans for the future are to work in coordination with Amigos for Christ who have specialists in the area of well drilling and community organizing. In the future all funds raised for water can go directly to

IMPORTANT NOTE: My work in the area of Water Projects is a follow up to my Catholic Social Teaching Course. My main work is in the area of Faith Formation. I fund all the trips to these locations according to what my schedule and budget allows me.



The future Palacaguina Commuity water project is located in a Parish run by the Divine Word Missionaries. This is where I plan to apply the remaining balance of the Richmond Virgina Diocesis Fund. There is also a group from Mother Mercy High School who desire to implement the H2O Project and donate the proceeds to Nicaragua. We are in contact via email.

I have met with this community a few times and have begun to build a working relationship with them, as well as realized some Scripture reflections related the issue of Water in the desert. More information will be coming in 2009.


This is where I have been spending the most of my time. I now have networks in numerous Latin American Countries of young people who desire to learn about and become a part of the wonderful effort to share the Good News with the poor via the First Continental Wide Biblical Mission. The Countries that I am striving to broaden this Mission include are: Honduras, Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba, Chile and in a few ther Central American countries. In Nicaragua we have four Catholic Institutions already participating in the Catholic Bible Mission.

Why Bibles?. Because for me the area of faith formation is the most important work that I can do transform the root causes of poverty. Over the past 16 years I have been living and working in Latin America, I have learnt that the best programs, which make a real and lasting impact are those that are organized from a faith based – people and social oriented – Gospel awareness approach. I believe that with the Gospel at the center you can change and transform poverty.

Over the past three and a half years I have been working in this direction. My convictions have been confirmed from Pope Benedict XV on down to the Nicaraguan youth on the Street corners. This conviction has also been confirmed by the last Cardinals Synod and during the 2007 Continental Ecclesial Bishops Conference held in Brazil, also in numerous other declarations which request that: "we invest time, money and talents in order to improve the area of faith formation with a special focus on Youth and Scripture. I was please to discover this and felt confirmed in the direction I have been dedicating my life, time and energy.


The series of Introductory Scripture courses I did this past year for the Teachers of 3 Inner City Mother Cabrini Highs schools were well received and approved. They have asked for the Courses to continue in 2009, along with the implementation of the 2009 Catholic Youth Bible Mission. We are in the planning process of implementing this Mission right now. There are over a 1000 students in their Inner City High Schools, most of who would have very little or no quality Scripture Courses without our Partners In Mission Nicaragua effort.

o Our Little Brothers and Sisters Orphanage (see:

In the Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos Orphanage, I organized and led a number of Retreats both with the directors, staff and youn people this past year. I taught two courses a week in their Half Way programs located in Managua. The last weekend of each month we organized and led a small Team to work in the area of Faith Formation with over 80 of the 350 kids on the Island of Ometepe.

We have also initiated the production of a booklet on the life and testimony of Fr. William Wasson, the founder of this Orphanage. We currently are in the planning process for 2009 in developing a Religious Education Plan with the directors and Bishop of the Dioceses, as well as a schedule of activities for the coming year.


The Mt. Tabor Parish is located where Damarys, Chris and I live. See:

Over the course of the year we have made friends with the local Pastor, the Parish Priest and some of the youth from the Parish. This past year we led two Retreats for the youth groups who seek to form part of a Team that will implement the 2009 Catholic Youth Bible Mission in the Parish. Most of our time in this area (where we live) is made up of our simple, daily Nazareth life: just being a friend, visiting neighbors, occasionally organizing some educational activities (when time allows) and Birthday parties for neighbor kids.


This past year I began the distribution of the Booklet we published in 2007 on Suicide. It has been reported to being selling, at a symbolic cost, both in Managua and the Rural Parishes where the TEYOCOYANI Team has offered it, along with the other materials they produce in the area of Faith Formation.

In 2009 I plan to distribute this booklet in all of the Dioceses of Nicaragua via the Curia and Caritas. Sadly, on each of my last two visits to the La Garnacha Community I received the sad news of two young people who committed suicide.


Our small Charles de Foucauld Lay Fraternity was able to celebrate the Eucharist once a month and participate in a Desert Retreat at the end of the year. Little by little, more people are becoming interested in joining our group. The Charles de Foucauld Lay Fraternity group is our life line; it is our small Christian Community that strengthens us for the journey and for our efforts to live the Gospel faithfully in our daily life. To see who we are go to:

o The Charles de Foucauld Lay Fraternity Continental Meeting of the Americas:

From January 4 to the 12 I will be participating, as the Nicaraguan representative, in the 2009 Continental Wide Charles de Foucauld Lay Fraternity Meeting to be held in Santiago, Chile. During this week we will be reflecting on the theme of: the meaning of our vocation today, as lay followers of Charles de Foucauld in the Americas. If you are interested in seeing more about this group, the International Team has put up a Website to share this event and the reflection material. See:

I will be going to participate, as well as to help in the translation in English, Spanish and Portuguese.


To conclude, as my friend, mentor and Lay Theologian, Jose Argüello (founder of TEYOCOYANI Center for Ecumenical Faith Formation) has said: “what you are doing is of vital importance for Nicaragua, but it is like trying to move an Elephant. You need to tell your folks at home how important your efforts are, in spite of not having lots of instant results to present. The Church here moves slowly due to its complicated history . . . What we are doing is some thing much deeper and will take generations to see the fruits. You have to hang in there. It took me three years here to just find a few Parishes that would accept my proposals. We have been working at this for 15 years and only now are we beginning to see some fruits… You are doing a great job, keep on with the mission. All the support you need will come because of the great cause you have decided to dedicate the rest of your life towards. I commend you; you have done a great job. Keep it up! ”

Thank you for your help and for being a part of this effort to build up the Body of Christ and the Kingdom of God.


Ø 2009: Raise $30,000.00 for NCCF Partners In Mission Nicaragua Fund.

Ø Implement the 2009 Catholic Youth Bible Mission

Ø Develop and implement the Faith Formation Plan for the Our Little Brothers and Sisters Orphanage.

Ø Organize and form three Charles de Foucauld Lay Fraternities, with 3 – 4 core leaders.

Ø Complete Water Project by the end of 2009.

Ø Distribute the remaining Suicide Prevention Booklets in all Dioceses of Nicaragua by the end of 2009.

January 25, 2009

How you can help!

Peace and greetings to all!

Dear Friends,

Today I helped and 83 and 84 year couple put a new Tin Roof on their ¨house¨. You would have to say shack to translate it correctly. Some of the roofing sheets were made of asbestos and have been there for years, surving a War, an earth quake and a hurricane. It gives new meaning to ¨having a roof over your head being a blessing¨. You would have to add, even if it be a Tin Roof.

This little project is costing us around $700.00. For a hard working family in Nicaragua seven hundred bucks is allot of smackers. Damarys and I are fronting these funds for now from our own savings. In the future we plan to create a fund for this sort of project on a small micro level scale, sort of one new Tin Roof at a time.

This family lost their son during the Contra War back in the late 80´s. His tortured body was delivered to the door, for respect I will leave out the details. The Mother told me that she has forgiven the death and torture of her son and those responsible. She holds no resentments, as she is a devout Catholic, who has been serving her Church community for over 45 years in a poor marginal Managua neighborhood, visiting the sick, the shut-ins and organizing prayer - reflection groups. She is a tireless follower of Jesus, and for me, a true inspiration. This woman like so many others are some of the reasons I find the motivation to keep on with the Mission.

The 84 year old man was once the best mechanic in the neighborhood and at 84 he still gets up and goes to work every day. He puts in a full 8 hour day, Monday thru Saturday, but due to the prolonged social - economic - political crisis here he brings almost nothing home for the family. Years ago, he lost all of his built up capital, his retirement fund and a nice track of land to overdue taxes that he was not able to pay during the wars year.

Today this old couple live on pure faith and the generousity of those who help them out. The mother receives a small stipend from the Governemt because her son was killed in the War.

In December, during the most important religious festival, called the La Purrissima, she as well as thousands of other poor families give out hundreds of pounds of small packages of gifts: made up of candies, rice and beans and other treats. They pass these small packets out groups of women, youth and kids, who come to sing before a Marian Altar set up in the homes.

Back in December she told me that "even though she did not have enough to give out, as in years past, the important thing was to maintain the ¨devotion¨ and a living faith in a God of Life.

Not soon after that, a hundred pound sacks of rice and beans arrived to her house for her to re-distribute to the singers of the Popular Purrissma religious festival. Her generousity to others was rewarded.

I believe that sort of generosity, of over 40 years of giving from what one does not have deserves a new Tin Roof.

Thanks for helping and keep on being generous!


How to help!