Answer: Perhaps in
The saint-to-be actually does reside in spirit in the eastern Indian city of
The institute was opened as the “Damien Institute” in 1979 by Sacred Hearts Father William Petrie, an American whose priestly vocation was inspired by a biography of Father Damien he read as a boy. Father Petrie came to
The Damien Clinic, the institute’s main medical clinic, treats hundreds with a team of doctors, a pharmacist, a lab technician and others. Mobile clinics two or three times a month bring services to a number of leprosy communities and houses, and to dozens of slum areas. Rehabilitation programs deliver wheelchairs, crutches, hearing aids, and walking sticks for the blind to those that need them in surrounding villages. A nutrition program provides school children in one leprosy community, many whose parents provide for their families by begging, one balanced, nutritious meal a day.
The Damien Social Development Institute helps young men and women gain vocational training as tailors, mechanics, paramedicals, drivers, weavers and electricians and also runs an interfaith hostel which provides food and board for male students attending a local college. The institute is a project of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts, Father Damien’s congregation, and many of its department supervisors are priests of that order.
By Patrick Downes Hawaii Catholic Herald
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