“I brought a girl child from the streets and I could see in the face of the child that she was very hungry. God knows how many days that she had not eaten. So I gave her a piece of bread. And the little one started eating the bread—crumb by crumb. I said to the child: ‘Eat. Eat the bread.’ She looked at me and said: ‘I am afraid to eat the bread because I am afraid when it is finished, I will be hungry again.’ THIS IS A REALITY. Maybe we are not hungry for a piece of bread, but maybe there is somebody in the family who is unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten. Love begins at home. A love to be true has to hurt. This is what I bring before you: TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITH GREAT LOVE.”— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta when she received the Nobel Peace Prize, December 10, 1979
November 1, 2018, ALL SAINTS DAY
My dearest Brothers and Sisters,
I greet you in the Name of our Triune GOD Who is our Dearest Father ABBA, our Dearest Brother JESUS and our Dearest Holy Spirit LOVE. Since October 2016, I have lived in Ethiopia serving the Sisters of Mother Teresa and Bishop Lesanu Christos. During that time, Bishop Lesanu Christos invited me to join his diocese. I gladly accepted and received permission to continue my mission in Kenya for the poorest of the poor—our Family of JESUS. In January this year, I returned to Kenya to serve the Sisters of Mother Teresa and the poorest of the poor from the slums surrounding Nairobi. We, The Family of JESUS, receive the poorest of the poor from the Sisters of Mother Teresa and from others. We are now over 180 members: 64 are 17 years and younger; 16 are unwed mothers with children; 11 are unmarried men with children; 15 are in high school; 34 are in primary; some are elderly who are not able to care for themselves. All those who are able to work, look for work every day, but often nothing is available. We depend on your kindness to support the poorest of the poor in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda—the four countries in East Africa where I have served the Sisters of Mother Teresa.
I live in a 3-bedroom apartment that was bought for us by the ICM ethanol company in Colwich, Kansas in 2007. I have my own self-contained room with toilet. The other two bedrooms sleep eight young men each & two sleep in the living room. Monday thru Saturday, we gather for Rosary & Mass at 8pm. On Sundays our home is open for our greater family for Rosary and Mass at 11a.m. followed by lunch (rice & beans). Usually there are 60 to 70 for Mass & lunch. Most walk here or take the bus. One Sunday, Amos (21 yrs.) did not have money for the bus so he walked—4 hours 30 minutes to be on time for church. JESUS once said: “I have never seen this much faith in all of Israel.” This photo shows 70 who were present on April 29. We have no refrigerator, no microwave, no oven, no washing machine, no dryer, no dishwasher, no AC. Sometimes there is no electricity or water. We save water for those occasions. Clothes are washed by hand. Breakfast is only tea & sometimes there is no sugar. We never have dessert. Rarely do we have fruit. Only one meal a day, which is either kale & ugali or beans & ugali, which is cornflower made like polenta. We live very simply trying to imitate the early Christians who “lived together & shared all their belongings.” (Acts 2:44)
This past summer, I came to the USA to raise awareness of poverty in East Africa & accept donations for the poorest of the poor. Many thanks to those of you who helped us. While I was in the USA, the Kenyan government put a road thru the biggest slum in Africa, which is in our backyard (Kibera) that forced 18,000 of the poor to move elsewhere. The Sisters of Mother Teresa and our Family of JESUS have homes close to this slum, and we continue to take in more of the poor.
While I was in the USA, I attended the International Charismatic Conference with the Alleluia Community in Augusta, GA, June 28-July 1. I attended the Peoria Clergy Day of Recollection on July 19 and met with Bishop Jenky about my transfer to the Ethiopian diocese. I met with him again on July 27 when I attended the Peoria Catholic Charismatic Conference.
On October 11th, I sent this letter to our Holy Father, Pope Francis:
Dearest Holy Father Francis, May you be filled with The Holy Spirit as you work so hard for us, your sheep. I am Fr. Ted Hochstatter, a missionary priest working for the Missionaries of Charity at the request of Mother Teresa on September 15, 1990.
I have served the Missionaries of Charity for over 30 years in the USA, Haiti, Rome, Albania, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia. I am presently in Kenya serving the Sisters here and also serving the Family of JESUS (home for the poorest of the poor from the slums surrounding Nairobi, Kenya).
This morning after Holy Mass, the Sisters reminded me that their Sr. Concelia, MC, is still in prison in India due to persecution from the Hindu government. She was arrested on false charges in July this year and has suffered so much. Sr. Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, has been doing her best to resolve the case which is in the High Court.
We know that you pray for all of us. If you are able to intervene in this case, we pray for your success.
Dear Holy Father, we, the Family of JESUS serving the poorest of the poor in the greater Nairobi area, humbly request your blessing on the work that God has entrusted to us. We care for over 180 of the poorest of the poor, mostly youth from the slums and their families. We pray the Rosary and Holy Mass every day for you. We love you. God bless you and all that you do.
Your servant, Fr. Ted Hochstatter, The Family of JESUS
I will enclose a copy of my ordination certificate and the letter of release from the Diocese of Peoria. I was born in the USA on August 7, 1949.
Thank you JESUS for the great gift of being a missionary priest for the poorest of the poor. I am a very happy priest! PLEASE PRAY FOR US. THAT IS THE GREATEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE US. If you want to help us financially, we very much need and appreciate your gifts.
Thank you so much for all your kindness and love. We greatly appreciate any help you offer us. We continue to pray for you every day. As we prepare for the birthday of Jesus, let us share His Love with all we meet through the Heart of His Mother Mary. We love you!!! God bless you!!! Merry Christmas!!! Happy New Year!!!
This photo was taken this year on May 1st at the Sister’s home where I offer Mass every week. I am standing behind Rogers, who was brought to me by these same sisters on Feb. 22, 2008.