Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Henry Jacquez’ speech in favor of St. Aloysius Orphanage

During last week’s Public Hearing on St. Aloysius Orphanage, Drex Avenue resident Henry Jacquez spoke in favor of the proposed school. One of our readers sent us Mr. Jacquez’ email address and suggested we ask him for a copy of his remarks. We contacted Mr. Jacquez, and he quickly sent his prepared speech to us. We have it published below, especially for the benefit of readers who were not able to attend the hearing or watch it on cable Channel 4. If anyone would like to contribute a guest blog in opposition to the proposed school, we will be glad to publish that, too.

Good evening, Mayor Williams, Councilmen, ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share with you my thoughts on this issue. We are being called in this particular circumstance to make a choice that can positively enrich the lives of children and those that educate them. It is not a hard decision to make when we add Christ to the equation.

James Madison, the chief architect of the United States Constitution stated: "we stake the future of America civilization upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a blessed opportunity for our community to come forward with the Christian principles and values that helped guide this great nation of ours. It is a time to bring Christ back into our society, our culture, our community, our schools, our homes, and our families.

When Jesus shared with us the parable of the Good Samaritan, he is clearly indicating to all of us, the Christian virtue of charity to our neighbor. It was not the priest or the Levite who assisted the man but the Samaritan (an outcast from the predominate society, a common man) that exhibited the compassion and generosity to aid the traveler - robbed, beaten, and left to died.

I ask you to consider the Samaritan's compassion and generosity when I ask you to support St. Al's purchase of our beloved school that provided for many years the Christian education that we so highly regard. Let us put into action our Christian education to those that are seeking the same gift. This is an opportunity to become the Good Samaritans of Norwood.

These children from St. Al's are very much caught up in the complexities of our modern materialist society. They may suffer from the social and economic barriers built into our society. They very well maybe products of our cultural selfishness and materialist endeavors. They may have felt the unbearable pains of abandonment, abuse, neglect, isolation, and acute poverty. They need the help and guidance from qualified educators to guide them back to normalcy. They need a Good Samaritan to provide for them the opportunity much like most of us have received.

When God asked Cain "where is your brother Abel," Cain replied; "Am I my brother's keeper?" The drama of human life began to unfolded. It has been a major problem culturally, socially, economically, and politically ever since. Cain's answer, echoes within this very room tonight. "Am I my brother's keeper? "

Councilmen, you have the opportunity to answer this question according to your will or God's will. It is my understanding that the great gift of life is at the service of others; to love our brothers and sisters, as God loves us. God has entrusted to us, one another. If I have learned anything from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is that when we lose the sense of God in our choices, there is a great and overwhelming tendency, to lose the sense of our neighbor.

These children need our help, our facilities, and more importantly our prayers. We as a community of faith filled Christians have been given the great chance to act as such. By standing by the principles and values set forth by our Heavenly Father and our country's fore-fathers we confirm and witness to ourselves and to our children the dignity and value inherent, in each human person created in the image and likeness of God, regardless of their social, economic, or political status. We have, as a community a great opportunity to act in the way we were taught. The advocating of our Christian values is one thing, but to actually live our lives in making choices by them, is another.

In conclusion, I would like to leave you one last thought, from Noah Webster, the founder of our America Dictionary, he wrote "in my view, the Christian religion is of the most important and one of the first things under a free government, which should be instructed."

Thank you again, for allowing me this humble opportunity to share my thoughts.

In the Peace of Christ,

Henry Jacquez