Carmelite Sisters: God will answer our prayers

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 09:15

The Cor­pus Christi Carmelite Sis­ters of the Eu­charis­tic and There­sian spir­i­tu­al­i­ty have vowed to push on with their work de­spite their fi­nan­cial hard­ships.

In an un­ex­pect­ed move last March, the com­mu­ni­ty has had its Gov­ern­ment fund­ing slashed. The move has hin­dered the dai­ly op­er­a­tions of the 28 Sis­ters who have ded­i­cat­ed their lives to help­ing the un­der­priv­i­leged, spe­cial needs, men­tal­ly chal­lenged and prob­lem­at­ic chil­dren, as well as the el­der­ly in this coun­try.

In the next six months, the Sis­ters will be cel­e­brat­ing their 100 an­niver­sary.

But in­stead of cel­e­bra­tions, As­sis­tant Pri­oress Gen­er­al of the Cor­pus Christi Carmelites Sr An­toinette Fa­hey said they have been mulling over the dire fi­nan­cial con­straints they have faced over the last 15 months.

The lat­est has to do with a cut in Gov­ern­ment’s month­ly sub­ven­tions for the La­dy Ho­choy Homes’ north and south branch­es.

These two homes which pro­vide in-house care to 75 se­vere­ly phys­i­cal­ly and men­tal­ly chal­lenged chil­dren had its fund­ing of over $1 mil­lion un­ex­pect­ed­ly slashed to $980,000 which is just enough to pay its staff.

The Sis­ters al­so have been man­ag­ing the Christ Child Con­va­les­cent Home, the Mimisa Home, L’Hos­pice Home for the El­der­ly, a string of day care cen­tres and the La­dy Ho­choy Schools in Pe­nal, Gas­par­il­lo and Port-of- Spain that at­tends to the needs of 334 spe­cial needs chil­dren on its own.

Every month, Fa­hey said the Sis­ters are faced with a fi­nan­cial short­fall of $2 mil­lion to man­age these in­sti­tu­tions.

Sr Clare Marie Nero, an ac­coun­tant at the La­dy Ho­choy Home, north, said on­ly on Mon­day they re­ceived a cheque from the Gov­ern­ment to pay the La­dy Ho­choy Home staff.

The cheque, Nero said would take four work­ing days to process at the bank.

“That means our staff will re­ceive their salaries in the bank on June 10. This has been a reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence. These peo­ple have bills, mort­gages, rent and loans to pay. When their salaries come in late they are charged penal­ties by fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions,” Fa­hey point­ed out.

Fa­hey said they have raised this on­go­ing is­sue with its ex­ec­u­tive who in turn wrote the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment about the cut in fund­ing, but the mat­ter has fall­en on deaf ears.

Fa­hey al­so plead­ed for more vol­un­teers to come for­ward to save trou­bled chil­dren.

“Our main thrust is to serve the Lord and his peo­ple with glad­ness and to be zeal­ous in what­ev­er we do,” said Fa­hey, “We have great hope that God will an­swer our pray

Reporter: Shaliza Hassanali