To the editor:
The Wildcat Waiting area is an idea conceived in generosity and love by the students of Gardner High School for the people in Les Cayes, Haiti, a country of poverty and political chaos.
A permanent outpatient clinic would be a miracle in this southern city. The occasional forays of Dr. John Mulqueen’s organization brought temporary relief for some Haitian children in a meeting of cultures that was arguably of greater benefit to the somewhat jaded Americans than the hospitable residents of Les Cayes.
The origins of “Forward in Health” go back six years to a visit of Sister Theresita from the Diocese of Worcester’s Haitian Apostolate. The story of how Dr. Mulqueen chose to respond to a call from God is his own to elaborate on, but appeared to initiate from Sister Theresita’s visit to Sacred Heart parish.
Dr. Mulqueen and other volunteers organized in Christian charity to visit Haiti with medical supplies. The visit and further visits were supported by Sacred Heart’s parishioners, confirmation class, the elementary school, The Caring Place, Lenten collections, etc. Through many programs, the parishioners and students of Sacred Heart have consistently supported this medical mission. As a member of the medical team, I have been amazed at how this community continues to dig deeply for extra money to support distant people.
However, the Haitian Apostolate now solely supports the twinning program where one church in Worcester Diocese supports a parish in Les Cayes. Sacred Heart continues to support Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Port-a-Pimont.
This change in focus precluded any support of a medical mission. Not to be deterred, Dr. Mulqueen and his wife Paula, RN, changed the name to Forward in Health and looked elsewhere for support. That brings us back to Gardner High School and their crucial assistance. This may be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Reprinted with permission of The Gardner News