Earlier this year, the homeschool co-op at St. Francis de Sales Oratory, led by a very resourceful group of moms, led a clothing drive for the children at the Institute’s mission in Gabon, Africa.  Canon Michael Stein, a young American priest stationed there (and now just made pastor), had visited the Oratory and had given a presentation to the community about the work of the Institute in Africa.  He asked for help and, among other support, this effort followed.

Canon Stein was kind enough to send back some photos, as well as some great news that immediately followed the distribution of clothes, to the “ringleader” of the clothing drive. I will reprint some of that correspondence below, and the rest of the pictures.  The necessary connection between works of charity and the handing on of the faith could not be more evident.  


Dear Friends,

Look at the effect we had just by donating clothes – I can’t even believe it.

Begin forwarded message:
Re: pics from Africa

Chère Madame,

Yes! 2 boxes!

The very next day 30 new children from the neighborhood spent the day at
the Parish, learning the Sign of the Cross and elementary prayers and then

of course playing…

The following day they were ALL at Sunday Mass “sages comme des images”.

Thank you for your truly apostolic contribution.

I’m trying to send all the photos back with one of the priests…

Remind me to send you names of future pen pals once I get back from the

En GRANDE union de prières,

Canon Stein


Dear Canon Stein,

I am so happy to see these photos!  I hope that the clothes were adequate

and can be put to good use.  If you have any more photos I would love to

receive them as we will put them in our yearbook!

I am assuming that you received TWO boxes, correct?

Also, I was wondering if there are any children who would like to be pen

pals with my French class.  I will be teaching 4th-6th graders.  It would be

nice for the kids here to start using their French!

God bless you and all that you do!