Dear Friends: 

With hope and love I pray that your Lenten experience this year will be filled with the joy of God’s mercy and grace. Helping to ease the pain and suffering of the victims of leprosy, will help us grow deeper in faith and love in Jesus. Saint Damien will continue to help us with his intersessions in heaven. 

When the ten lepers in Samaria, stood at a distance from Jesus, asking: “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” (Lk 17: 13) He healed them all. All ten lepers were cleansed. Now, we also want to bring healing and help to the lepers in our time. We want them to be free from their pain and suffering of leprosy. 

We travel to remote villages to clean their wounds and distribute medicine. We embrace their children and giving them education. We give them clean water, food, and shelters. There are many of them living in villages that are far away, deep in mountains, and very difficult to reach. The challenges of this mission are not only distances and terrains but the local social and political unsettlement. 

The required checking and cleaning for wounds to be healed is a daunting task in these remote villages. Even the local medical professionals do not have time and resources to make regular visit. The dreadful result is that many people loose their limps for having untreated wounds. 

Our commitment this year is to reorganize a group of doctors and nurses who will go to the lepers regularly and dress their wounds. This task is mainly under the direction and performance of the Catholic communities, mostly nuns and priests. Beside helping to improve the personal hygiene and public sanitation, our goal is treating one patient at a time, healing one wound at a time. It is disconcerting to see our brothers and sisters with afflicted and disabled limbs who cannot even care for themselves with their most personal needs. 

My suggestion for almsgiving this Lent, is continuing to care for these people. They are in dire need of our giving love to face this dreadful disease. With our help, they will be able to be free the darkness and misery of leprosy. Our continuing help will bring them healing and comfort, and most of all bring them the joy of Christ’s promise of eternity. 

May Saint Damien, who gave his life for the lepers on Molokai, continue to intercede for us before our Loving Father in heaven for the consolation and healing to our brothers and sisters, especially the hearts and souls of the lepers. 

Sincerely in Christ, 

Rev. Viet Huynh 

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