Dear everyone.   Blessings for Chinese New Year and the whole year of the Rooster.  


Xin Jia Yu Yi Xin Ni Huad Xai 


The Soothsayers tell us, that these are very special days.


Beginning with today, Thursday.  The day we are to have paid all our debts and give red/pink envelopes to all the children and younger members of our family.  The money is to be fresh bills, and of an even number, 40 or 60 or 80 Baht, and yes, they can go and buy candy, but they are supposed to keep the money, so that they will have money to use all year long.  That means, here at Mercy, me being the oldest, and being “Father Joe” to prepare envelopes for everyone.  


Then tomorrow Friday, is the day to pay respect to our ancestors and to make merit at the temple, or in Church.


Then Saturday, is the day to relax.  No work.    To go and visit near-by relatives. To have a special meal, already prepared by the grandmothers and mothers for weeks already.  The annual house cleaning should already have been done.  In the kitchen, the rice cooker is to be sparkling clean, ready to cook new rice, and thus have rice to eat for the whole year. 

 And  to wear red clothing – the color of joy, of happiness, or at least a red ribbon,  but certainly not dark colors.




Here at Mercy during Holy Mass we tell the children that they cannot say any bad words these whole three days , otherwise the words will  stick in our mouth all year, and come out in our conversations, even when we don’t want them to.

And lest I forget, we must have firecrackers.  Absolutely necessary to make noise, and frighten the nasty spirits back into the old year where they are caught, and thus we can begin the New Year happy and joyful.


All of us here wish you a Joyful and Blessed New Year.


Prayers – Fr. Joe and our 150 Mercy children, and all of our 33  slum shack schools and camp site schools, and 3,500 kindergarten kids and the sea gypsy kids and everyone.