The Daughters of Charity is a religious community of sisters that runs schools, orphanages, and medical centers throughout the world. Its St. Vincent de Paul Orphanage in Quito, Ecuador, is near and dear to our hearts, and is one of the projects which Cross Catholic Outreach partners with the followers of St. Vincent de Paul and which we help fund. The nuns have devoted their consecrated lives to providing resources and hope to lonely, vulnerable children who have no parents to care for them. They currently have 64 children in their orphanage, where the nuns provide a safe and loving home.
The nursery is, by far, the orphanage’s greatest expense, as it requires round-the-clock caregivers, as well as food, formula, diapers and other necessary supplies for the 22 infants and toddlers being cared for. Sister Maria oversees the nutritious meals that are prepared, and she designs the daily menus and works with the kitchen staff to prepare all of the meals.
Additionally, the sisters have been able to establish strong relationships with medical professionals, who monitor the children’s health and treat those who are sick. These doctors and pediatricians are necessary because many of the children have specific medical needs that go beyond simple care and compassion. There are oftentimes infants who arrive at the orphanage with physical defects, and for those reasons the parents have no means of taking care of them, so the Ecuadorian government brings them to the sisters. One little boy, Pablo, was abandoned shortly after birth by his mother as he suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome. As a result, he is easily susceptible to a variety illnesses, and his motor skills have been severely affected. If not for the care Pablo receives at St. Vincent de Paul Orphanage, his life would almost certainly have been lost — with no one to love him, hold him or treat his unique condition. Now, through the ministry of the Daughters of Charity, Pablo has a chance for a future and perhaps even to be adopted by a loving family.
Unfortunately, children who are abandoned are prone to an increased risk of a weakened immune system. Thus the orphanage is serving a higher number of children with physical and mental illnesses. Each day the sisters manifest untold deeds of extraordinary acts of mercy in caring for these sick and abandoned children. It is that type of ministry that Cross Catholic Outreach seeks to support as we promote the works of mercy. The work of the St. Vincent de Paul Orphanage reflects the very “Culture of Mercy” that Pope Francis has called us to embrace. As we continue to witness Christ’s love through the works of mercy and the New Evangelization, the St. Vincent de Paul Orphanage stands out as a shining example of what transformative Christian love can do in the world. As St. Vincent de Paul wrote, “Let us allow God to act; he brings things to completion when we least expect it.”