A life well livedPosted: Updated:
Does the name Fr. William Wasson ring a bell? Probably not.
He wasn't a great theologian. He wasn't pastor of a huge, wealthy parish. He was just a priest. Like many other priests, he preached the Gospel of Jesus. Unlike many others, he LIVED the gospel.
Bill Wasson was born in Phoenix, but for health reasons he was not ordained in this diocese. Instead, he went to Mexico and was serving as a parish priest when a young boy was arrested for stealing money from the church collection box. The youngster explained that he was poor, had no parents and was going to use the money to buy food for his brothers and sisters. Rather than having the boy arrested, Fr. Wasson gave him shelter. Though no one knew it at the time, that boy was the first of what is now more than 15,000 orphans throughout Mexico and Central America who owe thier lives to Fr. Wasson.
That incident, 54 years ago, gave birth to Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos. "Our little brothers and sisters." They are the little ones, the forgotten, the abandonded and the un-loved. Today, there are homes in nine countries with more than 3,000 pequenos who are given shelter, clothing, food, education and un-conditional love.
All the homes exist on the donations, mostly from americans. But money, clothing, school supplies and the like are sent from all over the world.
It is amazing that a single act of love, has over the years, evolved into a huge world wide orgainization whose only goal is to help children.
Fr. William Wasson died last week. His funeral is today at St. Mary's Baslica.
Pequenos from all over the world attended to pray for and say goodbye to the man they called Father. Not father as in priest, but father as in Dad. There were of course many tears. But not as many as you might expect. There is a joy in theese pequenos. It is a joy that comes from someone who has known "un-conditional love." It is the only way they know how to love. They know they've been blessed by Fr. Wasson having been part of thier lives. They also know that he is at rest and in the loving arms of the God he so beautifully served.
In the gospel, Jesus says we will be judged by only one thing: Did you see me in the least of the brothers and sisters? In Fr. Wasson's case the answer is obvious. Its been said, the measure of one's riches is not what you possess, but how much you loved and were loved. By that standard, Fr. Wasson died a very rich man.
And to think, it all began because one man showed mercy on a poor, hungry child,
Rest in Peace Fr. Wasson. and thank you for your example of a life well lived.