Padre Wasson

His extraordinary life and mission

Born on December 21, 1923 in Phoenix, Arizona, William Bryce 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. He felt his vocation to serve as a priest, but due to an issue with his thyroid, the church would not ordain him. To help overcome that set-back, his father gave him a 100-dollar-bill suggesting that he travel to Mexico. The young man loved it in Mexico, he settled and gave lectures at university. But he still felt a different vocation and followed it.

In 1953 he was finally ordained a priest 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 harsh prison sentence for stealing from his church’s poor box “because he was hungry.” Padre Wasson talked to the boy at the police station and asked to be given custody of him. The judge was surprised, but agreed and the next day assigned eight other imprisoned boys to the young priest. That marked the beginning of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos* (NPH), which means Our Little Brothers and Sisters.

Padre Wasson has dedicated the last 50 years of his life to serving as a father, provider and teacher to more than 18,000 orphaned, abandoned and poor children. He has received international recognition for his work on behalf of children. NPH now cares for children and youth in nine countries: Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Peru, and Bolivia.

Padre Wasson has written four books, three of them as a scripture scholar: 

Luke XV

In the retelling of the three most loved parables spoken by our Lord, Padre Wasson has chosen the direct, youthful approach of the ballad form. The strong rhythm and the original rhyme scheme add the ancient appeal of the chant, to the wonderful stories which Our Lord used in His teaching. 

Each parable, based on a homely incident, immediately recognizable to simple souls, householder, parents, from time immemorial, is a form of the basic promise of the Christian faith…Man has been lost but can be redeemed. Lost innocence can be regained. We were expelled from the Garden of Eden, but by diligence, search and grace, we may gain heaven. 

Each word in the Scriptures has been studied and pondered, and the retelling of the parables in verse is based on strictest scholarship. 

A word about the form. Each verse consists of thirteen lines, and only two basic rhymes are used throughout each verse. All through the retelling of the parables, no one rhyme is repeated. 

Elizabeth Borton de Trevino 

Gospel in the Dust

Written in 1984, Gospel In The Dust is a poetic reflection on the chapters of the Gospel of John, which were omitted from the first copies and only inserted at a later date. 

These writings illustrate the very kernel of Christianity – compassion and forgiveness. It makes clear that Jesus refused to condemn the sinner and told her to go and sin no more. 

Excerpt from the Introduction: “…in this retelling of one of the most touching and beautiful stories of Our Lord, Padre Wasson has returned to the ancient singing of ballads. In rhythm and rhyme, he gives us the story, and in a manner that is of instant appeal. What we can sing and chant we never forget. But these verses are based on the strictest and most minute study of all the Sacred Scriptures-the Greek, the Hebrew, the various versions in English”.

Sermon On The Mount

In this book, Padre William Wasson presents the Sermon on the Mount and describes its meaning to him and to other leaders through the ages. 

Padre Wassons philosophy clearly springs from the Sermon on the Mount, and he describes how Jesus words have influenced not only Christians like St. Francis of Assisi and, in our time, Martin Luther King, but also a non-Christian such as Mohandas Gandhi. There are two reasons why the words of Jesus might be accepted as profound truths. One reason would be that they are believed to be Gods truths which should therefore by obeyed if one wants to enter the kingdom of heaven. A second reason would be ones acceptance and conviction that they describe what it means to be fully human, to live a life infused with love and wisdom. 

-Michael Maccoby, Ph.D.

On August 16th, 2006, surrounded by his children “the pequeños” he loved so dearly, Padre Wasson died in Cottonwood, Arizona. His legacy lives on through tens of thousands of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren living and sharing today in Latin America and beyond.

Happy Birthday, Padre ❤️

99 years ago a child was born. Until his death in 2006, Padre Wasson changed the lives of thousands of children and families.

There is no just war

For many years, Padre Wasson had studied the Sermon on the Mount, going to the roots of the original texts, comparing translations, and writing down his findings. The content of his book is highly topical as Dr. Hartmut Frei shows in the following review.

Meet the rest of the family…


The idea of the Padre Wasson Foundation developed since the anniversary of Padre Wasson’s passing in August 2020. On his birthday in December 2020, his friends and benefactors Traudel & Gerd Graefe started the foundation…


When members of Padre Wasson’s extended family visit each other, there is an immediate bond even if they never met before. “Mi casa es tu casa” – my home is your home – is put to action...

Alumni & extended family

People who have gone through difficult times try to overcome them. For them, it is especially important to be in the present, in the “here and now” instead of in the past. Almost all of Father Wasson’s “children” have gone through a sad history…


The Foundation Council (Board of trustees) usually meet every three month, and more often if necessary. In year one we were able to set the foundation’s goals, worked on many issues, expressed our solidarity…

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