Archive for February, 2011

Grateful for the Opportunity

February 7th, 2011 No comments

Arriving at Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital in Bucharest, Romania I was unsure of what to expect. However what I found during my 2009 visit was certainly different to what I imagined. Although the hospital still has issues in relation to resources the work of Sister Mary Aloysius and the Lawside Romania Project has without a doubt improved the lives of many. Her efforts have brought up-to-date surgeries to the hospital, a playground for the children and an increase in the standard of care on the wards.

My time there was a profound experience for me. I had a room in the Rehabilitation Ward at the hospital where the children with disabilities go to see physical therapists, play therapists and others.  However the main department of Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital is where I felt my time was most needed. Sadly, in this hospital there are children abandoned by their families, some of whom I was fortunate to get to know on an individual basis. The very busy staff in the hospital does not have time to spend with the children to give them the love and attention they need.

During my time in the hospital I spent some days in the Oncology Ward where cancer patients are treated. I was overwhelmed by the happiness of the children there on Halloween. Volunteers brought them outfits and everyone got dressed up. It was magical to see children forget about their illness for a time and enjoy being children.

One particular experience that I will always remember was a trip to the countryside to visit the family of a boy who had died in the hospital two years previously. Sister Aloysius had given this family support since his death. On the visit we brought food, drinks and clothes to the family who live in a house with their two small children. The mother was deaf and dumb but it was clear she was an excellent mother and cared and loved her children very much.

Ill children at play

Ill children at play

I am grateful for the opportunity and experience that I gained from my time with Sister Mary Aloysius at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital and will always carry the memories of the children with me.

Jane McCarty

We should pray for mothers

February 7th, 2011 No comments

Bucharest, 2005

We speak a lot – sometimes too much – about the mothers who abandon their ill children but there are many other mothers who suffer every day with their little ones. Mothers who would be able, without any hesitation, to give up their lives or their health to offer one  more hour of life or less pain to their child.
Daily I meet mothers who have lost all hope for their child’s recovery, yet they have the strength to resign themselves to God’s will. Every day I see their tears, their tired faces, their mouth hardly able to speak their sorrow. They need our daily prayers and we must not let them down!
Only God can truly help and console a mother who daily sees her dying child.

Mothers of ill children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital


In our Lawside Romania Project work during the past years we have met hundreds of mothers. Each has a unique story to tell but all carry that look of worry, pain and anxiety as they walk or sit with their child.
One mother was traumatised by the fact that, while she had a lovely teenage daughter in Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital Oncology Ward, she had to go to another hospital and visit her 15 year-old son who had been infected with HIV through a blood injection and now developed AIDS. Many mothers here shared her grief and this sharing was such an inspiration for me.

Mothers of ill children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital 

What can you say to console a mother who arrives at Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital with a dying child of only 2 days? The baby has a malformed heart and doctors cannot give hope. ‘Why did God allow me to carry that babe for nine months and now this?!’ was all that mother couls say over and over again.
Another mother came to me crying as her son’s health deteriorated: ‘Sister, please say a strong prayer for Nicusor. I just want to feel Jesus is near. May we pray together?’
Iulia’s mother came to me too: ‘Sister, please go to church and pray for my little girl! Please find the priest and ask him to come’. This we did and Iulia’s father, who traveled a long distance from their village and cried out with a kind of anger and grief, was greatly consoled by the prayers of the priest!

Mothers of ill children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital

At times, the months and even years of child-caring can wear the most loving parent’s patience thin. Lawside Romania Project is there for them. Our Room No. 710 at Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital can be a Haven where, at any time, mothers may come for a chat and a break from daily routine. When doctors bring up the news of the possibility their child may never recover, many mothers are grateful that we share their sorrow.

Mothers of ill children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital

These mothers suffer and cry every single day but they do not lose hope not even for a second. Pictures of these suffering mothers are an image to follow us in our prayers and meditation moments.

Yes! We shoud pray for mothers!


Sister Mary Aloysius


Mothers of ill children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital


Love to All We Met

February 2nd, 2011 No comments

Love to All Those Children and Elderly Ladies We Met!

(How Lawside Romania Project changes the lives of many)

In 2008 my sister Ita and I spent a week in Romania with our aunt Sister Mary Aloysius over New Year’s. I have to say it was one of the most worthwhile and memorable holidays I’ve ever had. For years I’ve been meaning to go to Bucharest to see all the good work Lawside Romania Project is doing there, but seeing it in real life was amazing and it was lovely to be part of it all for the short time we were there.

Barbara McAteer

Paying our daily visits to the Oncology Ward of Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital, visiting little Floricica, Luis and Gabriel was truly special. The bond we formed with those little babies will stay with me forever. I look at their pictures regularly on my computer and they remind me about the simplicity of life, and how lucky I was to have parents that were always there for me. We spent an evening in the Recuperare (Rehabilitation Ward) with some older orphan children who were extremely excited about the bag of jumpers and little cuddly toys we brought in for them. They were so unspoilt and ready to smile for any little bit of attention that was shown to them.

Barbara McAteer and Luis

Another day with went with Rita Tudor on her visits to three elderly ladies who benefitted from the “Meals on wheels” Programme that was set up by the Lawside Romania Project. Seeing the poor conditions these ladies lived in was hard but it was so lovely to spend time with them and they all told us how much they benefitted from the food that was being provided to them and also from the visits that were set up by the team.  A younger person was going to their home on a regular basis to keep them company. I’m sure this makes a huge difference in their lives.

Traian Despa took us to visit a lovely family, a lady who was looking after her 11 children and whose husband had died.
Lawside Romania Fund had organised doing up their home for them previously which made it lovely and comfortable for them to live in. Although it was small it was very “homely”, and I believe it had pretty much been a ruin before being done up. This was a very special visit, as I too come from a family of 11 children and the children entertained us with songs and poetry the whole time we were there. They were the sweetest family I think I’ve ever met, so pleasant and good natured and very talented.

Traian Despa took us on a visit to “Nazareth” on our last day. There we met five little orphan boys who were being looked after by a carer family which had been arranged by Sister Mary Aloysius and her team. The carer family had two older sons who had been well educated and were a very good influence on these young boys. I was very impressed with the talents of these young boys, who were only too willing to show us their school work and entertain us with songs. They were very good fun to be around and it was obvious to see they had formed a very good bond together as a family unit being looked after in “Nazareth”.

I was inspired and humbled by the love and hard work Sister Aloysius, Traian Despa and the team of staff and doctors put into their work to make the lives of many children and elderly people a more pleasant place to live in. The people they help I feel would have very little hope without the love and support they get from the team. I will definitely be going back for another visit soon, hopefully in the summer time when the weather is a bit better. In the meantime I’m sending lots of love to all those children and elderly ladies we met on our visit and will be keeping them in my memory forever.

Barbara McAteer (itec, LCICI, ARCHTI)

Holistic Therapies Ireland