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  • Writer's pictureSt. Joseph Parish

Father Roach Checks in From Jamaica (1/23)

Dear family and friends,

It is now Sunday afternoon at 6:55 and I am awaiting dinner.

The weather has been quite pleasant, quite hot during the day and comfortable at night to sleep especially with a fan.

Waking in the morning sends me to a cold, cold, cold shower, which wakes me up, about 45 minutes before the bell rings for rising. It gives me a chance to prepare myself especially for celebrating the Eucharist and preaching a homily.  They usually have me celebrating somewhere.  I did go up to the mountain retreat to celebrate Mass in the evening and after staying overnight (quite cool) celebrated Mass in the morning before heading back to Kingston where we stopped along the way to purchase two tubs of ice cream, rum raisin from Prince of Peace and coconut for Redeemer house (where the male volunteers are staying with the Senior Brothers, they on the top floor, we on the second).  Devon House has been rated for the quality, variety, and taste of their ice cream, third in the whole world… delicious!

I have been working at the centers most days except for yesterday when I washed the linens and towels of the six volunteers who left on Saturday.  A washing machine would have been most welcome.

A very strong wind arose which made it difficult to hang the sheets and towels on the lines on the roof which caused a couple of sheets to be washed a second time.

Most afternoons I have been able to take a little rest which is most appreciated when I come home from the centers.

At Jacob’s well I washed the faces and arms of the women (most all of them mentally, socially, and physically challenged), fed some, spent time with them in the afternoon before returning to the Redeemer House, danced with them and hopefully brought some joy into their lives.

At the Lord’s place, I checked the diapers of the young women as to what deposit they were giving me, if of a substantial nature they were taken to be bathed, if of a liquid nature, I wiped them with sanitary wipes and diapered them.  The oldest that I took care of was twenty-one years old but still in a crib.  I then fed some bowls of food if they could handle it or bottles for those who could not.  A bit back paining bending over those cribs and lifting people up.

Faith Center and Good Shepherd center, mostly shaving the men, feeding them, and spending time with them.  I think I shaved between fifteen and twenty men.

When I get back to the residence, I am a bit bushed.

The meals have been quite simple but satisfying. Rice, Rice, Rice in 1 form or another often with some kind of a vegetable sauce or chicken wings etc.

There have been quite a few visitors.  A father with his two sons from New Smyrna (sp) Beach Florida, Sacred Heart Parish who was very fond of Fr. Frank Trowne and still mourns is death.  There men from North Carolina, the three Hatt boys, part of our group who left on Saturday morning to go home, a man from Atlanta.  All in all quite a mixture with some wonderful life stories.

Miss all of you!  Remembering all of you in my prayers.  Looking forward to being back home with you in spite of the fact that this has been a heartwarming and wonderful experience.  I hesitate trying to use the spelling corrector so am sending this now and hope you can read it.  The light is very poor here and I am a little unfamiliar with this laptop.

Love to all.

Fr. John

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