Oct 18 2013

Virginia priest visits 16 friends sponsored by parish

Father Henry Diesta from Newport News, Va., recently traveled back to his home in the Philippines to visit relatives and family. While he was there, he had an exciting opportunity to meet not just one, but 16 friends sponsored by members of his parish.

By Steve Taylor, CFCA sponsor and volunteer

St. Jerome Catholic Church, located in Newport News, Va., has a strong connection to the Philippines: a large Filipino community and our Filipino priest, Father Henry Diesta, from the Diocese of Sorsogon, Philippines.

This Filipino connection extends to the 27 children and aging friends sponsored through CFCA by our parishioners in the Antipolo, Legazpi and Zamboanga areas.

Father Henry returns to his home in the Philippines each year to visit his family.

Lisa Garner, a parishioner at St. Jerome, asked Father Henry if he would have time to visit her sponsored child, Russel, while on his visit.

(Editor’s note: Read Lisa’s beautiful blog post, “Changing one child’s world,” describing her sponsorship experience.)

Father Henry’s visit with Russel soon evolved into a visit of 15 sponsored children and one aging friend, Grandma Dora; all sponsored by parishioners from St. Jerome.

Father Henry traveled to Antipolo where the sponsored friends received hand-delivered letters, pictures and a few gifts from their sponsors.

It was a special treat.

Sponsored aging friend, Grandma Dora, sang a lovely tune and the children danced to express their gratitude to Father Henry and their sponsors.

After the visit, St. Jerome sponsors were treated to numerous pictures and videos of their sponsored children having a wonderful time interacting with each other and Father Henry.

Special thanks go to the CFCA Sponsor Services team for arranging the visit and to the CFCA Antipolo staff for making this wonderful afternoon possible!

Related links:

St. Jerome Catholic Church website

How the Taylors know their sponsored friend through ‘love of letters’

Changing one child’s world: New sponsor’s letter

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