OCTOBER 18, 1954
NEW YORK, Sunday—From the quiet New England village of Farmington, Connecticut, a young woman some years ago entered the Order of the Most Holy Trinity in Florence, Italy. Now, as Mother Chiara, she sends an appeal for help to the land of her birth.
Italy is a poor country, she says, and needs the help of Americans. She tells the story of a young priest who, at the end of World War I, promised many of the men in his regiment, as he gave them the Last Sacrament, that he would be a father to their orphaned sons. When he returned to his parish, he gathered some 12 fatherless boys into his own home, the Rectory, where his mother looked after them. He named the little orphanage in memory of the terrible last battle on Mt. Grappa, calling it the Little Madonna of Grappa.
At first he did not know where he would get the money to raise and educate the children. But in answer to prayer the money came. Little by little, houses were given in different parts of Italy, so that today Mons. Facibeni is father to more than 1200 orphaned boys in all parts of Italy. Many refugees from other countries have also been taken in.
Mother Chiara feels that support, even in answer to prayer, cannot come from Italy alone, which is now beset with economic problems. She asks us for help too. I think there will be many who will want to send a little help to these orphanages, which give manual training and otherwise fit helpless young people to earn an honest living.
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The party recently given by New York City for the delegates to the United Nations was a charming event. I have never seen the ballroom at the Waldorf so beautifully decorated. The candles in the center of the great ceiling were arranged in a lovely pattern and the beautiful autumn coloring back of the stage, as well as the flowers around the balcony, made the room enchanting. The entertainment was good and the speeches short, which I am sure everyone appreciated, for the mood was one of festivity rather than one of solemnity. This buffet dinner entertainment, while carried out by the Mayor's Committee with Ambassador Patterson taking charge, was actually paid for by the businessmen of New York, who subscribed for their tables and included five delegates at each table. I think the delegates enjoyed themselves, for the buffet supper was as good as the entertainment and the floor was at all times crowded with dancing couples.