100 years ago a child was born. Until his death in 2006, Padre Wasson changed the lives of thousands of children and families.
“A child is only good, because of somebody. You can teach them all the religion in the world, but he is not going to be good unless it is because of somebody in his life.”
Padre William Bryce Wasson, founder of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH)
Today, thousands of “his children” remember Padre Wasson, or in Haiti: Père Wasson.
Born on December 21, 1923 in Phoenix, Arizona, Padre Wasson was always concerned with the needs of the poor. He received his MA in law and social sciences at San Luis Rey University, Santa Barbara, California. His aim was for priesthood, but due to a health issue, he was refused ordination.
His father gave him a 100-dollar-bill.
His father gave him a 100-dollar-bill and encouraged him to take some time off. The young Wasson then traveled to Mexico, where he later managed to be ordained a priest in 1953 by the VII Bishop of Cuernavaca. Padre Wasson was assigned to the chapel in the Tepetates market district of Cuernavaca, and almost immediately instituted a daycare center for poor children.
A year later he rescued a boy from a prison sentence for stealing from the church poor box “because he was hungry.” Padre Wasson took custody of the boy. The judge later aksed, whether he would take in eight other juvenile delinquents, which he did. Thus began the extended family of Our Little Sisters and Brothers (in Spanish Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos).
He founded the “largest family in the world”*
Padre Wasson has dedicated his life to serving as a father, provider and teacher to more some 20,000 orphaned, abandoned and poor children. Our Little Sisters and Brothers now operates homes in nine countries: Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Peru, and Bolivia. He has received international recognition for his work on behalf of children. As a scripture scholar, Padre Wasson has written various books, his last one “Sermon on the mount” was translated into different languages.
On August 16th, 2006, after several weeks of farewell to his “children” coming to see him, Padre Wasson died in Cottonwood, Arizona. His legacy lives on through thousands of “Big Sisters and Brothers” spread out in Latin America and beyond.
The Padre Wasson Foundation will document his work, take his legacy into the future and connect those people whose lives he touched. Learn from Dr. Michael Maccoby† about the philosophy of Padre Wasson.
Thank you for your interest! We invite you to get in touch.
Padre Wasson Foundation
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