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.

August 20, 2010

H20 Project


Peace and greetings to all!
Posted by Picasa

May 20, 2010

Donna Cristina

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.

The kind of feet that Jesus washed

We walked into her home. There sat Dona Christina with her head tilted to the right, at a 45-degree angle. There were few chairs, so I asked if I could sit down on the five gallon bucket next to her. She nodded, yes. I sat and looked down at her feet. They were swollen, callous and purple. Her shoes sat next to her bare feet. They were worn, second hand, old shoes. No shoe strings. Her aged feet sat naked upon a neatly swept dirt floor. Her toenails were curled, broken and dried. I imagined to myself, “These were the kind of feet Jesus washed.”

Dona Christina is an elderly lady. In her youth, and adult life, she was a street vender. She sold tortillas in the small village of Esquipulas, Nicaragua. Her grown children live in Managua an hour away. They would have to spend at least a day’s wage to visit her, which would mean choosing between feeding their children or visiting their Mother. The youth group was there to visit Dona Cristina for the action part of our Scripture Course. Each course consists of twenty hours of Scripture reflection and twenty hours of practicing the Works of Mercy. Why? Because we believe, in the words of Dorothy Day: “Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.” Both are needed.

I continued to survey the room and the situation. Our youth group was a little uncomfortable even though Dona Cristina knew most of them since they were kids. The small room had a dirt floor. Old bamboo strips were nailed together for walls. There was an indoor wood burning stove that I was sitting next to. I looked up; there was a straw thatch roof, covered with years of black smut from the smoke. I thought to myself, “My God, one accident with fire and this place would go up in a blaze.”

In Nicaragua, the rainy season is about to begin. I imagined, “This place must leak a lot water in the heavy downpours.” Then I realized: “My God, this elderly lady is completely in the hands of God. She is at risk in so many ways. Anyone could walk in here at night and take or do whatever they wanted to this poor old lady…..what in the world am I going to say to her?”

This was our second visit to Dona Cristina. Our plan was to cheer her up with a small celebration and a scripture reading. The youth group, each one giving from their own poverty, brought all the ingredients to make a fresh juice drink to share with Dona Christina. I brought the Oreo Cookies. One girl brought a blender from her house, but since there was no electricity in her shack they went to a neighbor’s house to blend the juice drink. Lionel, one of the youth leaders, and I prepared a celebration of the Word with a few songs and chose the scripture reading. The younger girls carried on like normal teenagers. The leaders in the group prepared the long awaited juice drink.

When all was ready, we stood up in a circle. I asked Dona Christina if she would like to hear a passage from Scripture. She responded, “Who are you all and what do you want? I am an evangelical!” She took me off guard. The last thing I wanted to do was to impose on her anything she did not want. But Lionel responded and comforted her by saying, “Dona Christi, don’t you worry! We are simply here to visit the sick. There is only one God. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We just want to visit you and that is all.” She nodded in agreement and approved for our work of Mercy to continue.

One of the young women leaders opened the Bible, as we sung. She read the selected passage we chose in which Jesus heals a woman who had suffered a hemorrhage for twelve years.

Then the miracle happened.

During that reading it was as if everything in the room changed. Dona Christina’s face lit up. As we shared our insights about the passage, we all felt a deep peace in the room. At the end of the celebration, we prayed over Dona Christina. We asked the Lord to heal her of all that is draining her life, energy and happiness. She seemed to understand. She smiled, and began to speak with a new energy. After we finished our prayer, the youth group served the cookies and juice. Dona Christina began to laugh and I saw that she had no teeth… “Oh, that is why she is not eating the Oreo cookies,” I thought. She drank her fruit juice and thanked us for our visit. There was a storm brewing and the group said, “Pat, it is time to go.” I went outside and looked up at the darkening sky and felt the dampness in the air.

We said, “Goodbye” and made our way home before the rain began.
May 2010

Images from Nicaragua

Support our efforts in Nicaragua
Please help spread the Good News of Jesus in Nicaragua by praying, donating and becoming a Partner In Mission Nicaragua!

Make check payable to:
National Catholic Community Foundation
Mail to:
National Catholic Community Foundation
1321 Generals Highway
Suite 202
Crownsville, MD 21032
Write “Partners in Mission Nicaragua” on the memo line of your check.

View sample check.

You are receiving this email because you are on the VIP list to attend the November 28 event to Celebrate the Work of Pat Duffy & the Partners in Mission Nicaragua. (You are also Pat's family, friend and supporter.)

Unsubscribe from this list.

Our mailing address is:
Patrick T. Duffy - Partners in Mission Nicaragua
724 Dorgene Drive 724
Cincinnati, OH 45244

Add us to your address book

Copyright (C) 2010 Patrick T. Duffy - Partners in Mission Nicaragua All rights reserved.

Forward this email to a friend
Update your profile

March 17, 2010

Article in remembrance of Archbishop Oscar Romero by Fr. John Dear, SJ

Peace and greetings to all!

I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news (March 24, 1980) -- in my fraternity room at Duke University. I had just turned on the TV to watch the evening news. Only the month before, I had decided to apply to the Jesuits, to try to spend my life following Jesus. The shocking report of the death of this brave archbishop stunned me, inspired me and encouraged me to go through with my decision. Later that night, a peace vigil and prayer service was held on campus. My friend Paul Farmer, living next door to me, marks his conversion from that event. (Farmer would become a doctor and teacher at Harvard University and founder of Partners In Health, an international health and social justice organization.) Both of us were touched and changed by Romero's gift.
During one of the first anniversaries of Romero's death, Salvadorans distributed posters with a black and white photo of Romero and a caption that read, "We Want More Bishops Like Romero!" I sure wish we had more bishops and priests like Romero today. We certainly have one -- our own hero, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton.
Romero spent his years up until 1977 as a typical quiet, pious, conservative cleric. Indeed, as bishop, he sided with the greedy landlords, important power brokers, and violent death squads. When he became archbishop, the Jesuits at the Univeristy of Central America in San Salvador were crushed. They immediately wrote him off -- all but one, Rutilio Grande, who reached out to Romero in the weeks after his installation and urged him to learn from the poor and speak on their behalf.
Grande himself was a giant for social justice. He organized the rural poor in Aguilares, and paid for it with his life on March 12, 1977. Standing over Grande's dead body that night, Romero was transformed into one of the world's great champions for the poor and oppressed. From then on, he stood with the poor, and denounced every act of violence, injustice and war. He became a fiery prophet of justice and peace, "the voice of the voiceless," and in Jon Sobrino's words, "a new Jeremiah." For me, Romero was a stunning sign of God's active presence in the world, a living symbol of the struggle for justice and what the church could be.
The day after Grande's death, Romero preached a sermon that stunned El Salvador. With the force of Martin Luther King, Jr., Romero defended Grande, demanded social and economic justice for the poor, and called everyone to take up Grande's prophetic work. To protest the government's participation in the murders, Romero closed the parish school for three days and cancelled all Masses in the country the following week, except for one special Mass in the cathedral. That act alone would have put Romero in the annals of history. Imagine if every Mass in the United States but one had been canceled in protest after the death of Dr. King! Over a hundred thousand people attended the cathedral Mass that Sunday and heard Romero's bold call for justice, disarmament and peace.
On Easter Monday 1978, he opened the seminary in downtown San Salvador to welcome any and all displaced victims of violence. Hundreds of homeless, hungry and brutalized people moved into the seminary, transforming the quiet religious retreat into a crowded, noisy shelter, make-shift hospital, and playground.
Next, he halted construction on the new cathedral in San Salvador. When the war is over, the hungry are fed, and the children are educated, then we can resume building our cathedral, he said. Both historic moves stunned the other bishops, cast judgment on the Salvadoran government, and lifted the peoples' spirits.
 During his March 23, 1980, Sunday sermon, Romero let loose and issued one of the greatest appeals for peace and disarmament in church history:
"I would like to make an appeal in a special way to the men of the army, to the police, to those in the barracks. Brothers, you are part of our own people. You kill your own campesino brothers and sisters. And before an order to kill that a man may give, the law of God must prevail that says: Thou shalt not kill! No soldier is obliged to obey an order against the law of God. No one has to fulfill an immoral law. It is time to recover your consciences and to obey your consciences rather than the orders of sin. The church, defender of the rights of God, of the law of God, of human dignity, the dignity of the person, cannot remain silent before such abomination. We want the government to take seriously that reforms are worth nothing when they come about stained with so much blood. In the name of God, and in the name of this suffering people whose laments rise to heaven each day more tumultuously, I beg you, I ask you, I order you in the name of God: Stop the repression!"
The next day, March 24, 1980, Romero presided over a small evening Mass in the chapel of the hospital compound where he lived, in honor of a beloved woman who had died a year before. He read from John's Gospel: "Unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains only a grain. But if it dies, it bears much fruit "(12:23-26). Then he preached about the need to give our lives for others as Christ did. Just as he concluded, he was shot in the heart by a man standing in the back of the church. He fell behind the altar and collapsed at the foot of a huge crucifix depicting a bloody and bruised Christ. Romero's vestments, and the floor around him, were covered in blood. He gasped for breath and died in minutes.
Romero's funeral became the largest demonstration in Salvadoran history, some say in the history of Latin America. The government was so afraid of the grieving people that they threw bombs into the crowd and opened fire, killing some 30 people and injuring hundreds more. The Mass of Resurrection was never completed and Romero was hastily buried.
Just recently, I learned from one of his biographies that Pope John Paul II had decided to remove Romero as Archbishop of San Salvador. In fact, he signed the removal order on the morning of March 24. In some ways, I'm grateful that Romero never lived to hear that dreadful news. His martyrdom became a spiritual explosion that continues to transform the church and the world.
Today, we remember Oscar Romero as a saint and a martyr, as a champion of the poor and prophet of justice. He calls us to live in solidarity with the poor and oppressed, to think with them, feel with them, walk with them, listen to them, serve them, stand with them, become one with them, and even die with them. In that preferential solidarity, he summons us to carry on his prophetic pursuit of justice and disarmament.

March 16, 2010

The Nazareth Home Improvement Project

Thanks to an anonymous donor we were able to work for the common good by building two contention walls. This will enable a hard working family to have a stable lot to build on in the future.

God bless you and thank you for your help.


February 12, 2010

Monday Night on the streets of Managua

Peace and greetings to all!

Monday night on the way home, after visiting a construction worker friend of Damarys (who led a community service - Nazareth Home Project - which I will share at a later date) we came to a stop light. There was a young guy who was working on the street corners at a traffic light selling water, with a group of others. 
This kid signaled for us to pull over. I was cautious, as you have to be in a city like Managua, but I saw a concerned, desperate look on this kids face and a crowd beginning to gather around a Taxi and he was yelling "he's been shot!...he's been shot!....."
The Taxi driver looked as if he was hurting and in lots of pain. I really didn't know if he was dying or not.  I parked Fabiolla (my truck and blocked all the traffic at the Intersection, so we could stop some of the traffic confusion). I got out of the Truck to see what had happened and what I could do, along with the crowd.  
Apparently, a crazy nut on a motorcycle had side swiped into the Taxi. After the Taxi driver yelled at him at the stop light, the man or teenager, on the Motorcycle pulled out a gun shot the him in or near the heart. 
Everybody was yelling to do some thing different. Damarys called her house on her cel. and told her niece to call an Ambulance. A guy who looked like he knew what he was doing said we could not move the guy. That made sense to me. But I was not sure if the guy was going to bleed to death. My idea was to put him in my truck and take him to the Hospital, but the best thing appeared to wait for the Ambulance. 
So, I moved my truck and then we just waited...... and ......waited....... and in true Nicaragua style...... the group decided to start pushing the Taxi (without moving the guy from the driver seat) to a Hospital that was a few blocks away. After they got through the light and a block away from the Hospital, an ambulance came and took the guy to a Hospital........ 
What I saw in the Nicaraguan people was true solidarity to a man in need.  
We then went home (hour trip) ...... and prayed for this man and his family. 

February 10, 2010

Nazareth Homes Project

Peace and greetings to all!

Partners in Mission Nicaragua
I recently read a story, met an inspiring woman, and read a scripture passage that helped me to understand--once again-- what our Mission in Nicaragua (and wherever we live) really is all about: living the Gospel in real time!

Here is the story:

A truck, crowded with concentration-camp victims, is on its way to the gas chambers. Everyone, including the guards, are silent, because all know the final destination. Suddenly, a man grabs the hand of one of the condemned and begins to read his palm. “Oh, I see you have a long lifeline," he says aloud. “And you are going to have three children.” He is filled with excitement and goes from one man to another predicting futures filled with long lives, loving families, and great joy. Immediately, the moods of the prisoners’ change. One can sense a rising hope. The guards become confused; what seemed inevitable is now in doubt. For whatever reason -surprise, uncertainty, wonder - the men are taken back to the barracks instead of to the chambers. The palm reader was the poet Robert Desnos. What the poet did for these passengers to Auschwitz was to revive the imaginations of those trapped by despair.

The Gospel is Alive!
The story of Dona Rita tells the tale of how one person can revive the imaginations of those trapped by despair.

We ran into Dona Rita on the way to a work site for a Community Service project this past month. She was going somewhere, but nobody really knows where. Dona Rita is about 86 years old. She gave me permission to take her picture. She lives on her own. She prefers to sleep on the dirt ground on her small porch in a poverty that only saints like St. Francis have tried to imitate and could bear. She has repeatedly been beaten and robbed of her spare change, food, and even the clothes that people give her to help alleviate her sufferings. She has been found sleeping along the roadsides in the midst of huge mansions and tin roof wood shacks that make up one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Nicaragua.

We have known Dona Rita for four years. Last week when we stopped to talk with her and ask her how she was doing, she told us she was on her way to visit some family members in Managua to help her nephews. In reality, she can no longer get on a bus and her family members have apparently given up on her. She told us that she has many friends in high places in Nicaragua, as well as friends in Europe and the USA. “One day…” she tells of how she is going to stay in one of her homes in Philadelphia.

Dona Rita can be seen in this neighborhood daily. She shuffles slowly, one step at a time with her walker, but she moves with determination. She has somewhere she is going. The day we visited her, she was on her way to buy food for a big party: a party that she was going to organize “to give food to everyone who comes, with Caribbean music and dancing,” which was going to be played by a musical group from Bluefields. Before finishing her description of how the party was going to be, she invited all the work crew to come to the party.

During the four days of our manual labor work project, the youth group from the Orphanage visited with her and helped to clean her home and yard. On the day of the party, Dona Rita had provided the dream, the youth group brought the food, the teenagers played and danced, and we all had a great time. Our son Christopher also enjoyed himself.

We all learned a valuable lesson from Dona Rita. Every day you have to have a dream and a desire to fulfill and that will get you through the day. Dona Rita has reportedly escaped every retirement home she has been taken to because as she says, "I prefer to trek with pain than sit down and quit." Why? Because she is walking towards her dream; a dream that always includes everyone.

Her uncomfortable presence reminds us of the poor in our midst. In a world that is often dominated by a radical consumerist and individualist influence on every corner, Dona Rita desires to dream, share and serve others. In a society that proclaims old people should not have to suffer, Dona Rita prefers to be beaten physically rather than surrender her spirit and die spiritually. Dona Rita is unstoppable, and for me she is a hero. Maybe, at best, we can befriend her with along with others who care for her (both the rich and poor of the neighborhood.) In the future, when she asks for help we can be there for her. All of us can help fulfill her dream: food for everyone, a party, dancing with live Caribbean music, friends and family surrounding her to enjoy life together.

The Gospel and Dona Rita
For me, Dona Rita is a living Gospel. She is much like the old woman Jesus praised in Mark: Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’ (Mk, 13, 41-44)

This poor widow gave all she had. Everything. Nothing was left, except her belief that God will take care of her. God bless and long live Dona Rita! Lord, teach us to have the faith of the poor and little ones of this earth.
May God bless and inspire in you a dream that includes all of Gods people!

All the best in 2010,

Patrick, Damarys and Christopher

Patrick T. Duffy, Jr
Charles de Foucauld Lay Missionary
Apartado LM 131
Managua, Nicaragua
Home: 505-2-532-0346
Cel. 505-8-655-7368

February 2010

Support our efforts in Nicaragua

Please help spread the Good News of Jesus in Nicaragua by praying, donating and becoming a Partner In Mission Nicaragua!

Make check payable to:
National Catholic Community Foundation
Mail to:
National Catholic Community Foundation
1321 Generals Highway
Suite 202
Crownsville, MD 21032
Write “Partners in Mission Nicaragua” on the memo line of your check.
View sample check
View sample check.

Bookmark our new web site!
New web site
We have a new web site thanks to Kate Bast. Please visit the site at

Thank you for all of your support. Please share this email with friends and family. We are working earnestly to improve our online communications so that we are able to keep costs lower and connect more frequently!!

Damarys, Christopher and Patrick visiting Cincinnati (Click photo for larger image.)

More images from Nicaragua