Editor-in-Chief: Fr. Richard Carey
There are three kinds of people, or so the story goes. Those who makes things happen, those who observe things happen, and those who say “Hey! What happened”? We of course who work for the House of Mercy claim and not without reason, that we belong to the first group. We are making things happen.
However, a cursory glance at the calendar that says “2006” causes us to wonder what is happening. Are we really six years already in the New Millennium? The sands of time have run out for some of our dedicated people. One, who gave the second highest gift ($5,000.00) (the highest one was $10,000.00) died this past year. Since you are reading this, it means that you-and-I- still have some time left to continue and increase our good efforts for the Coming of the Kingdom. And it is hard to envision a nobler effort than to promote the cause of life in this society where the “culture of death” holds sway. So, thank God for the House of Mercy and the Daughters of Divine Mercy (DDM) who maintain these homes while leading a truly holy life of prayer, fasting, and works of mercy. It is our privilege to assist them.
This Newsletter will detail happenings over this past year as well as outlining challenges for the future. The following piece describes the beginnings of the House of Mercy. You may have read it last year. You may also have forgotten it For those who haven’t seen it, it provides a background to understand our work.
It all began in the heart of a young woman from Mexico, married to a very good man and the mother of two little girls. In her early youth, she had spent some time in a convent in Mexico. Although she loved the life there, she had an uneasy feeling that there should be something more. Her closeness to Christ was deepened through her love for her husband and children. As her prayer life matured, her only desire was to be in constant union with Jesus and to do only and all that He wanted. In the meantime, her active life was busy became a cosmotologist and ran her own salon. She and he rhusband, during this period bought and operated two different cafe’s. Later she became a medical technician. During all this activity in her life, she maintained that deep sense of prayer and union with the Lord listening closely to the voice of Jesus, and desireous only of doing His Will, she became more and more convinced that he wanted more from her. Living so fully in the world as she, like many of us, was horrified at the turn towards evil that our society was taking. Fighting hard-nosed evil demanded hard-nosed efforts for good and that is, when it became obvious to her that fasting was essential if our fight against evil was to prevail. As time went on, she realized that much was clear. But, what could she possibly do? A young, barely 30 year old woman, juggling her lives as wife, mother and professional career. The Lord said, as he said to St. Faustina, “Trust in me!” And she did. Her spiritual director, a religious order priest, encouraged her to follow her interior inspirations, depending totally on the Lord. And this she did. Thus was born the House of Mercy Pro-life inc., served by the Daughters of Divine Mercy Pro-life.
The Original plan is to build a capacious building on the two-acre lot near Tecate. Since this cannot be started without a goodly amount of money, an interim plan has been put in place. Two double trailers have been located there, providing a comfortable place for 12 beds and other rooms. In January there was a beautiful ceremony of blessing and dedicating this new House of Mercy. Father Carey along with many people from the Whittier area and other places of California, were deeply impressed with what a good interim solution this was. Many people from the Tecate area and from other parts of Mexico provided a warm welcome and savory food for all and the party extended into the late evening. Since then, five families have been helped along with two teenagers. DDM Asuncion, Maria and Nico have all been there at different times. Since the accident and the broken leg of Nico, Leticia and her family have filled in until more DDM are added.
In December, an overflow crowd gathered at the House of Mercy for the blessing and dedication of the new chapel. For several months volunteer work was carried to transform the outside patio by enclosing it and creating a rather large room to be the chapel, the heart of any House of Mercy. Although many people assisted during those months, the majority of the work was done by the indefatigable Bill Petry. Not to be overlooked by his two young boys of grade school age, Billy and Brian, who manfully assisted their dad. What about the mother and wife, Lucy? She has been an angel of mercy for both the house in Rialto and the one in Ontario, providing very important assistance that was much needed due to the lack of enough DDM to carry on the programs. At any rate the chapel is beautiful indeed and the dedication of Mass, celebrated by Fathers Carey and Eliseo Lucas, inspired us all. Leticia and Danny and their children, coming from Tecate, were delayed several hours at the border crossing, but no dummies they are , they arrived in time for the food and festivities following the Mass. During this year, two of the pregnant mothers gave birth to their children, both of whom were boys. Also during this year, our original DDM, Gloria Huerta, had to leave because of declining health. The Lord will have special blessings for her, for her disinterested zeal for Him. This points up for all of us, however, the desperate need we have for other noble and dedicated women to take up this important work of the DDM.
It is true to say that the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Surprises. One of the most pleasant surprises possible for the House of Mercy Apostolate was a lovely couple who generously lent their house in Ontario to be used as a third House of Mercy. In addition to lending the house for an unspecified period of time, they also bought and placed in it, things like refrigerator, stove, furniture etc. One of their children gave a gift of $10,000.00, the largest gift we have ever received. Our gratitude goes out in a very special way to theses special lovely people of faith. Their good example will inspire many others to join them in this whole-hearted support of what Pope John Paul II called “the most important work,” the defense of human life.
This House was blessed and dedicated in February, 2005, by a priest of the Diocese of San Bernardino. At the same time, he received a three month promise by Esther, as a DDM. Since them, there have been five pregnant women there. Four of them have other children with them in the house, with a total of 5 children altogether. This points up again the need for more DDM. Also since many of those who who come for help speak either only Spanish or only English, we need DDM in each house who either alone or collectively speak the two languages.