“I was moved. It was hard to imagine. I remember going to a garbage dump as a child with my father, and even just the smell was horrible. For people to be living in these conditions was beyond belief.” - Fr James Hewes, Parochial Vicar, St. Jude the Apostle, St. Helen and Holy Ghost parishes in Gates, Rochester, NY
God’s love through Rev. Fr. James Hewes
Father James Hewes started helping the people of Payatas when, more than a decade ago, he read a short news article about a “landslide” in Payatas, Quezon City, Philippines. The July 10, 2000 disaster was caused by the partial collapse of the Payatas municipal garbage dump, killing 217 people and around 100 people are still missing. Payatas literally means Promised Land is one the biggest garbage dump in the Philippines.
Since then, Fr. Hewes started to raise money to help the people of Payatas , writting hundreds of letters and speaking to countless people. He teamed up with Catholic Charities of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, a sponsor of the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary nuns who work among the people in Payatas.
Fr. Hewes was able to raise enough money to purchase two water trucks, which provided the people of Payatas clean, affordable drinking water. “No one should have to live without such basic necessity” he said.
In 2006 Fr. Hewes collaborated with musicians Nancy and John Bryan and Glenn McClure to create an 11-song CD titled “Songs for the Promised Land.” The CD has grossed more than $215,000 to date.
Note: This video is in Tagalog