• March 14, 2013

Ten Years in the USA:
The Beginning of an Endless Dream

Alumni and
St Maximilien Kolbe Fraternity,
May 2012

By Rev. Thierry de Roucy, Founder of Heart’s Home

For decades, New York has been one of the most attrac­tive cities in the world. Is that because of its king-size pro­por­tions? The quality of its museums? Its unique loca­tion? The diver­sity of its inhab­i­tants and their col­orful patch­work of cul­tures?

Since its incep­tion in 1990, Heart’s Home, too, felt this uni­versal appeal of the “Big Apple.” Not for the same rea­sons, though. It was rather because Mother Teresa bap­tized New York City the “cap­ital of com­pas­sion,” and John Paul II called it “the cap­ital of the world,” because of the pres­ence of the UN, the immense lone­li­ness drilling so many New Yorkers’ hearts, and because of the need to deeply evan­ge­lize this American cul­ture which is con­stantly being exported to most of the world’s coun­tries.

Strong as the calling was, it was only thir­teen years after the foun­da­tion of Heart’s Home that Providence allowed us to open a house in the Bronx. This was ten years ago. To tell the truth, the decade-long expe­ri­ence gained from all around the world, embracing all kinds of suf­fering, was not use­less. You need to be well-sea­soned to live in New York. You also have to deserve living in New York.

To an unpar­al­leled degree, New York is the city of extremes. It fills us with awe, and yet some­times it appalls us. It is a city where the greatest joys meet the deepest sor­rows. It is a stage for the sweetest dances and the most awful crimes. It’s a place where you can have extraor­di­nary encoun­ters, and yet have very few faithful friends. It is the city in which you would love to dwell forever, and yet you often dream you could quickly run away.

Ten years ago, Heart’s Home cast its anchor in the Hudson Bay. There have been painful delu­sions and bitter tears wept over the hard-heart­ed­ness of the city. We have shared in hor­rible ago­nies. However, we never regretted coming to the United States. Heart’s Home is at home in New York and in Spokane. I wish it were in many more cities throughout the country. We have recruited and sent many American vol­un­teers and have watched them flower as they dis­cov­ered the charism of com­pas­sion. They acquired a fresh gaze on the world, a more pro­found expe­ri­ence of what it means to be human, gen­uine con­cern for others.

And the horizon is expan­sive. We don’t fear tomorrow! Rather, there is plenty of room for dreaming.”Dreaming that our Heart’s Home family may keep growing. Dreaming of new cen­ters opening here and there, in cities and uni­ver­si­ties, all over the States, in response to the con­suming lone­li­ness of so many! Dreaming that the United States might be better known for the quality of the heart of its people, and less for the ups and downs of Wall Street.

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