Nother brick in the wall!

Dear Parishioners,

Remember Pink Floyd’s The Wall?  The album came out in 1979 and was in everyone’s record collection (hey, remember records?) within a year.  I guess you could say it’s a concept album that makes a sociopolitical statement about war and violence in the world. During live concerts of The Wall, the stage crew would slowly construct a giant wall in front of the performers while they were playing, until the band was completely obscured by it. Images of suffering and loss were then projected onto the wall, until, at the very end of the concert, it’s violently torn down.

Walls are not good things but sometimes they are necessary things. Sometimes they offer needed protection like in Ancient China or in The Game of Thrones…….or in the case of a little orphanage for girls in Nicaragua. It’s run by “the madres”, an order of nuns founded Madre Albertina, the niece of the first constitutional president of Nicaragua.In a desire to help the poor, the order has set up homes and schools all over Nicaragua, El Salvador, and CostaRica. The one that I want to direct your attention to currently has 25 girls living there between the ages of 4 and 18.They are “social orphans”, coming from unfortunate home situations of abuse, neglect, or severe poverty. At the “Hogar” (“home” in Spanish) the girls are provided with a safe environment and given food, shelter, counseling, and education. Although the aim is to reunite the girls with their families at a future time (after working with the parents/guardian and under the supervision of the Ministry of the Family), this isn’t always possible. The Hogar is also trying o implement a system of grants so the girls can go on to University and build lives of their own.

But first these nuns have to build a wall ….and here’s why: thieves. Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and robbery is rampant. The madres are not immune to the problem and have been broken into many times by thieves who steal food and supplies. They want to build an outer wall around the orphanage complex of houses as a deterrent and they need about $20,000 to do it. Their good works were brought to our attention by the actor Justin Long who has visited the Hogar several times and helped with other projects. (You probably know that Justin grew up in Fairfield and that his mother and father, Wendy and Jim, are parishioners here and members of the choir.) After talking a bit, we thought this would be a great outreach project for the parish. More often, we concentrate on local charitable organizations, but something like this reminds us of our global connections as a Christian community. Inspired by all the “theater blood” in the Long family, a “Broadway night” similar to the one we had lasty ear seemed a perfect way have a little fun and raise some funds at the same time.

So we called our Broadway friends and they’re coming back!  Kristin Huffman, Fred Rose, Bret Shuford, and Kimilee Bryant.  All Broadway musical stars who have the vocals to prove it. Company, Cabaret, Little Mermaid, Phantom of the Opera, are just a few of the shows these pros have performed in. They’ll bring some Broadway razzle-dazzle to the Parish Hall on Saturday, October 26, at 7pm. Like last year, it’s a cabaret-style event. We’ll include a simple pasta-and-meatballs supper and dessert and ice. You bring the wine (or whatever) and drop a check at thedoor for whatever you might have spent for dinner-and-a-show. Every penny we raise that Saturday will go the madres to help them build their wall.

Forgive me if I rephrase Pink Floyd: All in all let’s put a—nother brick in the wall!

Father John