Sacred Heart Church sponsors Kenyan nurse's education
BREVARD — Parishioners of Sacred Heart Church in Brevard began sponsoring the education of a young nursing student in East Kenya nearly six years ago, and now that student, named Philomena, has begun working in a hospital to save babies' lives.
Philomena studied and trained at Consolata Hospital in Nyeri, Kenya, which has as its motto "Furtherance of the Healing Ministry of Christ in the world today with special concern for the Poor."
When they started funding her education, Sacred Heart parishioners – organized through the parish's community life commission in partnership with the Christian Foundation for Children and Aged – knew almost nothing about Philomena except that she needed support to attend nursing school. Becoming a nurse would enable her to earn a living, she wrote in a letter before the parish began its efforts on her behalf. Following her recent graduation, she began working as a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at Consolata Hospital.
She recently wrote another letter to the parish expressing joy and gratitude for the help given her to "share in God's saving work":
Pictured: Philomena sent this photo of herself with the mother of premature twins she helped treat in the neonatal intensive care unit at a hospital in East Kenya. The photo accompanied letter of thanks to parishioners at Sacred Heart Church in Brevard who helped pay for her to attend nursing school. (Photo provided by Dorice Narins)
"Dealing with these infants is one of the greatest challenges I have faced in my life, because the infant is not able to express him/herself. The setup of the unit is also a challenge in terms of equipment and materials, but I try my very best to apply all the skills I have learned, in order to help these precious ones.
"I have enclosed a photograph of a mother who delivered twins, one baby weighed about 3 ½ pounds and the other a little over 2 ½ pounds. We fed these premature infants through a nasogastric tube until they attained 4 ½-5 pounds when we discharged them. The mother stayed in the hospital for two months. The family appreciated our service very much."
Sacred Heart Church supports local charities in Brevard as well as provides educational, medical and nutritional support of six children and one aged person through the Christian Foundation for Children and Aged. Aiding Philomena was an outreach that Sacred Heart had not done before, but the parish found the results so heartwarming and far reaching. In her lifetime Philomena will serve many people for the small sum it cost the parish to educate her.
To learn more about the Christian Foundation for Children and Aged, go online to www.cfcausa.org.
— Dorice Narins, correspondent
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FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy