A Little Nazareth in Las Piñas
From its days as the salt centre of Manila to its bright present as a rapidly urbanising residential-commercial centre, Las Piñas has indeed come a long way. Known throughout the Philippines for its bamboo organ, salt beds, and Jeepney factories, Las Piñas is distinguished as one of Metro Manila’s fastest-growing communities. But a population that is steadily rising, Las Piñas is also home to some of the Philippines poorest children.
It is these children that the Sisters of the Annunciation seek to care for at ‘Little Nazareth,’ a home for young girls who are often the most vulnerable and neglected. Little Nazareth seeks to assist the poorest and most marginalised girls, providing them with food, education, shelter, healthcare, love and nurturing. For several years the centre has been supported through the generosity of the Scottish people.
On returning to Scotland, Fr Eddie Veasey, a Scottish missionary who spent 22 years in Ecuador encouraged support for this mission project, run by the sisters.
Sadly, Fr Veasey passed away in 2011, but thanks to the enthusiasm of a few dedicated supporters this work continues to bear fruit today. Administered by Missio Scotland, the project is one of 1200 schools, 9000 clinics and 10,000 orphanages supported by Missio and our partners throughout the Pontifical Mission Societies worldwide.
Sisters Donelia Hidalgo and Gloria Lucy Álvarez Nino wrote to us to tell us about the difference this help is making in their lives and the lives of the girls they serve. They thank in particular the people of Scotland, especially the members of St Gabriel’s Overseas Aid Group, Glasgow and the people of St Conval’s Parish, who continue to support both spiritually and materially Fr Veasey’s project. This was their letter:
“May Jesus who is compassion and mercy, bring our greetings to you along with our deep gratitude for all that you are doing for us here at Little Nazareth home in Las Piñas, Manila.
“Your help is so important and necessary for us and without it we would struggle greatly to provide for the needs of the girls in our care.
“We thank God, in His unconditional love, for all the help and support that Missio Scotland has provided us with and want to share your love and ours with the girls who are entrusted to us.
“We remember with deep appreciation Fr Edward Veasey to whom we remain spiritually united, asking him to accompany us from above. In 2015, we welcomed 22 girls to our centre and thanks to your help, where able to provide food, educational supplies, medical care and so on, for them.
“As well as caring for their physical needs we seek to help them to grow spiritually and morally and develop their potential and self-esteem and to grow in the knowledge of God’s love.
“Once again, we thank you for your help and support. We pray for you always. May God and our Blessed Mother reward you with abundant blessings. We sincerely hope that you can continue to support us so that together we can help some of the most needy children in Manila.
“God Bless, Sr Donelia and Sr Gloria Lucy”