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Catholic Northwest Progress
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June 28, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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June 28, 1963
 

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8--THE PROGRESS Friday, June 28, By Larry Anderson You might say the Tur- kana Desert in Kenya isn't much like the Pacific Northwest. The temperature in March hits 130 -- above 100 by 10:30 in the morning. It takes 22 hours for a truck to travel 170 miles, if you're lucky, and possibly six days if there are break- downs. The natives, until the mis- sionaries arrived, ate nothing but goat milk mixed with camel's blood. And for flying it's p r e t t y rugged. The country is decep- tively dangerous because it all looks the same from the air. And if you try one of the air- strips put in by the British dur- ing the Mau Mau uprising, it may have a 20-foot anthill in the middle. But it's not all bad. That's what Jerry Fay and Bud Don- ovan from the Seattle area found when t h e y were in Kenya earlier this year. The two Catholics saw the marvel- ous work of two St. Patrick's Fathers and three nuns of the Medical Missionaries of Mary among more than 100,000 ha. fives in 36,000 square miles. The missionaries have set up six missions and at one of them -- Lorogumu -- have a school and dispensary. The priests and nuns, who have been in the Turkana Desert since 1961, are iving the natives food first. en they give them medical attention and education. Then comes the work on the souls. The food and medical atten- tion is at the heart of the rea- son for Fay and Donovan's being in Kenya. Fay is assistant chief pilot and Donovan is a ilot for Pacific Northern Air- nes. They had become aware of the need for moving supplies faster in the Turkana. Long trips by truck, jeep or car were taking too much time. A light plane seemed to be the answer. The two pilots got other Catholics and non-Catholics in- terested and raised a b o u t $11,000 through the Seattle archdiocesan office of the So- ciety for the Propagation of the Faith to buy a Piper Super ,963 Lay Apostles in Archdiocese Give Active Assistance to Foreign Missions: Dream Of Plane in Kenya Becomes Reality BIG BIRD--This Piper Super Cub receives the inspection treatment from natives of the Eldoret Diocese in Kenya. Purchased through the donations of many persons in the Arch- diocese of Seattle, the plane will be used to carry Bishop Joseph B. Houlihan of Eldoret to the more remote parts of his See and to help the medical Missionaries of Mary tend their patients more effectively. .UNIVERSAL SMILES--Bud Donovan, one of the two prime movers of securing the airplane, getting it to Kenya and helping the mission to maintain it, shares some fun with the youths of the tribes in East Africa. Donovan, a pilot for Pacific Northern Airlines, is a member of St. Philomena's Parish in Des Moines. KENYA'S FUTUREThe Turkana mission in Kenya is considered one of the most dif- ficult in East Africa but is also the most prolific in conversions among nomadic tribesmen. In six months some 10,000 have begun to take instruction from Kihegan Fathers or Fathers of St. Patrick from Ireland. Shown with a recent baptismal class is Rev. Adrain Surlis. -Cub for the missionaries in Kenya. At first they thought finding the money would be the toughest pert. That was easy, compared to keeping track of the airplane once it had left the United States. The Navy--through Operation Handclasp -- put the plane aboard an attack transport and it was due to dock in Naples February 16. Donovan, who lives in St. Philomena's Parish in Des Moines, arrived in Naples in early February. He immed- iately learned that Naples is a big port and it was difficult to learn when and where the plane would be when it arrived. Finally Donovan ran across a Captain Dowd, who was cap- tain of the port for the U.S. Navy and had served at the Sand Point Naval Air Station in Seattle. Captain Dowd gave Donovan these welcome words: "You go to Addle Ababa and we'll take care of every- thing here." Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, was* to be the next stop for the plane. The Air Force would handle the Italy- to-Ethiopia lap. The attack transport carrying the Cub finally arrived in 1laples March 3. She had been delayed by urgent Navy business. By this time Donovan had arrived in Addis Ababa and was checking facilities for assem- bling the plane so it could be flown to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Fay, who lives on Mercer Is- land in St. Monica's Parish also had arrived in Africa and he and Donovan went to Nairobi to see what they could do about expediting things. They talked to the British Civil Air Board and the U.S. consulate. They also sent a telegram to Wash- ington's Senator Jackson. This latter action seemed to be a profitable one. And things began to move more rapidly. "Matters we thought were going to be major problems turned out to he relatively simple," Fay said. "One ex- ample was maintenance. This one really had us worried. But we talked to the Wilkins Air Service in Nairobl and learned it was able to provide all the maintenance and parts that would be needed. "We also thought airstrips would have tO be put in. But we found them already built in most areas. They had been put in by the British. This was a real break, even if it meant GOD'S SERVANTS-The Medical Missionaries of Mary with the congregation's motherhouse in Ireland conduct hospitals all over Africa with experienced medical person- nel in each of them. Among the religious at the Turkana mission (from left) are Sister Adrian from England, Sister ; Campion from Ireland and Sister Bernadette from Scotland. knocking down a few ant- hills." But there was still waiting. Donovan went to Nairobi in early M a r c h to make more rounds to try to learn the where- abouts of the Super Cub. Meanwhile, Fay went to Loro- gumu -- over a so-called road in a Volkswagen. It was a 170-mile trip and Fay and his driver -- the Rev. Liam Doyle -- were lucky and made it in seven hours. There Fay had his first look at the vast groups of mud-and- brush huts that reminded him of igloos. And the lean, dark- brown natives. "We had no trouble travel- ing in the area as long as we had one of the priests with us," Fay said. "But we wouldn't have liked to try it without them. These Turkana natives are the most feared of any in Kenya. But the mis- sionaries seem to get along without trouble." Fay stayed only three days in Lorogumu because of the supply of food and water. "The water situation is par- fieularly bad," the pilot said. "The water is gotten by bor- ing holes in dry stream beds. It is a long process of filling gourds and then barrels and taking the water to the mis- sion site. The water then is boiled and filtered so it can be used for drinking." The day Fay returned to Nairobi and rejoined Donovan, they received word that the plane would be in Addis Ababa March 16 -- the next day. Fay had run out of time and had to return home shortly after he got back to Nairobi. Donovan carried on -- flying to Addle Ababa to go to work assembling the Super Cub. How- ever, he had to wait until it arrived March 23. "It arrived in a big crate on Saturday," Denovan said. "I had to wait until Monday to get started on it. But I had it together by Wednesday night. Thursday I took it up for the first time -- and it felt good to be finally flying again." Donovan flew about 130 miles south of Addis Ahaba to check on fuel facilities -- which he found to he scarce. "biter I had made a landing in a deserted area near Lake Awassa, one of the plane's fires rolled off," Donovan said. "I walked nine miles be- fore I found a radio station so I could report that I was all right. I then walked back, fixed the tire and flew back to Addle Ababa." Donovan later flew from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, about 700 miles. After straightening out customs problems, he flew to Kitale, the town nearest the mission territory in the Tur- kana Desert. By the latter part of April Donovan was flying supplies into the mission stations and Nun-Pilot Missions' First While the rest of the world has been following the orbital space flights of Russian Cosmonaut Valen- tina Tereshova, the Catholic missionary world looks expect- antly at what Sister Michael Therese of the Medical Mission- aries of Mary will do in Kenya, Africa. The slender, M-year-old Re- ligious, hailing from Worcester, Mass., will become the first mis- sionary Sister-pilot when she arrives in the desolate desert area of Turkana in the Diocese of Eldoret next September. Her assignment of piloting a two-seater Piper Super Cub, purchased mainly from dona- tions throughout the Archdio- cese of Seattle, is "kosher." Giving the green light from Rome is Gregnrio Cardinal Agagianian, p r e f e c t of the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith. Sister Michael Therese and her superior in the order's Winchester, Mass., novitiate, Mother Helena, were both in the Greater Seattle area last week to thank all those who have made it possible through the archdiocesan office of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith for the Medical Mis- sionaries of Mary to use the plane in the service of the sick in the Turkana desert. "Sister Michael Therese is the first in our community to become a pilot only because of the Archdiocese of Seattle," Mother Helena said. A surgical technician before she completed her novitiate training recently, Sister Michael Therese has always been in- terested in flying, Practicing daily if possible, she has now 30 solo hours to her credit. Her first passenger was Mother Helena, who her- self spent 14 years in Tangan- yika. In Kenya Sister will com- mute between a central hos- pital in Eidoret and three out-camps, some 800 miles apart. Her cruising speed will be 10S miles per hour at an altitude of 10,O00 feet. The plane is equipped with a radio and is modified in the giving the priests and nuns as cabin for stretcher space. much information on the plane , Sister Michael Therese is the as possible. He flew some 80, Second oldest Childofsixdaugh- hours in three weeks, ters and one son of Mr. and Both Fay and Donovan now are home. But the plane is being used for training Rev. Thomas Ryan, one of the St. Patrick's Fathers. A Medical Missionaries of Mary nun, Sister Mary Michael Terese, has been training in the east and will go to Kenya soon. She visited Seattle last week. Donovan and Fay saw much progress in the Turkana while they were there. New buildings for healing and teaching the natives were nearly completed. Greater food and medical sup- plies reached the six missions. "We were convinced that air transportation is the only answer to the mission-supply problem in Africa," both pilots said. "We can see where this small effort of ours proved this. And we hope we will be able to get this message across in this country to those who have the means to supply the air transportation." Fay and Donovan have set a splendid example themselves by contributing generously in money and time. Both took time from their work and fam- ilies to make the trip to Africa -- and paying their own ex- penses. During their travels they also visited Rome and talked with Cardinal Agaginian, prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. The two pilots also attended an audience held by the late Pope John. Mrs. Patrick Ryan of Wor- cester, Mass. The Medical Mis- sionaries of Mary with the motherhouse in Ireland con- ducts 26 missions between east and west Africa and another in Formosa. The Eldoret project is the first to employ a plane and the first a m o n g all missionary groups to use a Sister-pilot. Purchase of the plane has been the initial task. The sec- ond phase is the continuation of necessary supplies and maintenance. Fr. T. F. Ryan To Mark Silver Jubilee A solemn high Mass of thanks- giving will be s u n g at 10:15 a.m., Sunday, June 30, in St. Benedict's C h u r c h by Rev. Thomas F. Ryan, marking the silver jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood. Father Ryan, a native of Se- attle, received his early educa- tion at St. Benedict's School, O'Dea High School and Seattle University before entering the Seminary of the Oblate Fathers. He was ordained June 7, 1938 at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and cele- brated his first solemn Mass at St. Benedict's Church June 19, 1938. At the jubilee Mass, Father Ryan will be assisted by Rev. John 3". Murphy. O.M.I., arch- priest, Rev. Maurice W. Smith, O.M.I., deacon, and Rev. Dan- iel J. Conners, O.M.I,, subdea- con. The sermon will be preached by Rev. Francis D. McHugh, O.M,I., pastor. A reception honoring the jubilarian will be held from 3 to S p.m. in the home of Mr. and Mrs. William P. Ryan, 740g - 52nd Ave., N.E. LIFT-OFF  Father Surlis puts a tyke on one of the plane's wheels. The child is wearing a piece of a broken earthenware and is carrying a bag filled with mixed goat's milk and camel's blood. SEATTLE VISITLuggages were being pa eked by Jerry Fay for Sister Michael Therese (center) and Mother Helena of the Medical Missionaries of Mary from Winchestej Mass., during the brief visit of the two Religious to the Archdiocese. Sister Michaq Therese has been assigned to the Eldoret Diocese in Kenya where she will become the first Sister-pilot in the foreign mission field. The plane, a Piper Super Cub, was made possible through the efforts of Fay, assistant chief pilot of Pacific Northern Airlines, and Bud Donovan; another PNA pilot, by donations from Pacific Northwesterners in cooper- ation with the archdiocesan office of "the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. (Photo courtesy o/ the Seattle TACOMA APOSTLES--Dr. Thomas J. O'Leary and his wife, Maureen, and their four children will arrive in East Nigeria this Friday to begin two years of service in St. Mary's Mission Hospital in Amaigbo. Former parishioners at St. Patrick's in Tacoma, the O'Learys are shown with their children (from left) Susan, 1; Kathleen, 5; Matthew, 3; and Anne, 4. --(Pr.ogress Photo by Richards Studios.) Nigeria-Bound Tacomans To Give 'Physician's Talent' TACOMA  Two more lay apostles from the Archdiocese begin this Friday two years of service at an East Nigerian mission "in thanksgiving to God for what He has given" the Dr. Thomas J. O'Leary family. The O'Learys, six in all from St. Patrick Parish here, left Tacoma by jet Tuesday for New York and Amsterdam and are expected to arrive this Fri- day in St. Mary's Mission Hos- pistal in Amaigbo, Nigeria. The apostles are Dr. Thomas Joseph O'Leary; his wife, the former Maureen Crusoe; and their four children, Kathleen, 6; Anne, 4; Matthew, 3; and Susan, i. "We have both been inter- ested in the missions since we were first married," Mrs. O'Leary said. "We decided to give the gift of the physician's talent to the indigent and in thanksgiving to God for what He has given us." The husband and wife are both Tacoma natives. Dr. O'Leary, 34, is a graduate of St. Patrick School and Bellar- mine High School here and of Seattle University. He received his: medical degree from St. Louis University in 1958 and specializes in internal medicine. He was on the staff of Western State Hospital in Steilacoom. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius F. O'Leary, 1118 S. Grant St. in St. Rita Parish here. WEEK-END SPECIAL: At Your Fav0rde... Darigold Grade AA Butter 59' PRICES EFFECTIVE PRIDAY'AND SATURDAY, JUNE 28.29 Mrs. O'Leary is a graduate of St. Leo's Grade and High Schools here and received a bachelor of arts in education degree in 1954 from SU. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Crusoe, 3510 S. 7th St. in St. Leo Parish. Their decision to devote two years of their life in the mis- sions reflect the attitude and training both husband and wife received in the schools they had attended. "I think that it should be a normal attitude for laymen actively to help the missions," Mrs. O'Leary said. "If they cannot go to the missions themselves, they should try to help finance our missions throughout the world," she declared. The idea of going to the for- eign missions first came to the O'Learys four years ago. Their placement in Nigeria was finally confirmed by the Catholic Medi- cal Mission Board with head- quarters in New York City. Medical missionary nuns, ducting the Nigerian are financing the O'Learys' transportation. Doctor O'Leary will practice medicine at the hospital while his wife devotes her full-time to caring for their children. The family resided with a relative here at 1016 N. 12th St. Workers Help Children MADRID, Spain (NC)--Some 2,000 volunteers from a society of Catholic workers have col- lected 180 tons of scrap paper to finance vacations at summer camps for more than 1,O00 of Madrid's underprivileged chil- dren. Put i] Su t SEATTLE CITY LIGHT