Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 15 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Isidore the Farmer

And Then There Were Nuns: ‘God, they’re better than a puppy! They’re the best PR move ever.’

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 05/18/16

This is awesome:

When the Rev. Jeff Bayhi’s vision of a home for underage victims of human trafficking turned toward reality, he spoke with Sister Eugenia Bonetti, who oversees several such facilities in Italy. One part of his plan was non-negotiable.
“I told her, ‘I’ve got the money, but I’m not doing it without nuns,’” Bayhi said.
Now, he has them.
When ground was broken April 28 on Metanoia Manor, the Baton Rouge-area home that will eventually house 16 young victims, the dignitaries included Gov. John Bel Edwards and Bishop Robert Muench. But, in Bayhi’s opinion, the celebrities of the event were the white-clad Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy. “Three or four times, I’ve had to go up to the State Capitol with them. God, they’re better than a puppy!” Bayhi said. “Everybody wants to meet them. They don’t give a dern about me. They want to meet the nuns. They’re the best PR move ever. They’re wonderful!”
But they’re more than that.
The nuns — Sister Norma Nunez, a native of the Philippines; Sister Ann Maria Mathew, of India; Sister Alexandrine Rasoanirina, of Madagascar; and Sister Ruth Nwokike, of Nigeria — were selected by Bonetti from their mission in Camden, New Jersey, where they staffed and administered nursing homes operated by the Catholic diocese there. The nuns received three months of training in the Italian homes, where women rescued from sexual slavery in Italy and eastern Europe reside. The nuns will live on-site with the girls, providing counseling and administering their living conditions.
“With that base, and the motherly love, taking care of the children, I think we have what it takes,” Mathew said.
Photo: Travis Spradling / The Advocate, with permission
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Philip Kosloski
Ascension vs. assumption: What is the difference?
Philip Kosloski
What happened between the resurrection and ascension of Jesus?
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
J-P Mauro
We need better church music, say Catholics in the Philippines
Philip Kosloski
What was the message of Our Lady of Fatima?
Larry Peterson
Benedict XVI called him “one of the most unusual saintsR...
See More