“Happy Birthday, Padre José!”

by: John A. Basilio

On March 7th, 1938, a future visionary leader and a passionate humanitarian, was born into this world in Moenchengladbach, Germany.  Jose María Neuenhofer, who would later become a catholic priest, is more commonly affectionately known as Padre José, is one year older! We at HOPE worldwide Bolivia, join with Fundación Arco Iris (FAI), Hospital Arco Iris (HAI) and the thousands of men, women and children to celebrate this great day.  We have all been touched by his sacrifice and love and are extremely grateful to be able to celebrate this momentous occasion!

The birthday party for Padre José was nothing short of a true complete celebration. A jubilant day was planned from morning to night. Many co-workers, friends and “extended” family were able to personally congratulate and participate in honoring him on that very special day. The morning began with an invitation for all the employees of the hospital to have breakfast  with Padre José at HAI, followed by lunch at “Niñas de Obrajes”, an orphanage for girls of the foundation, while dinner with close friends and associates concluded the day long festivities at his home.

We at HOPE worldwide Bolivia, are very encouraged by the partnership we have with HAI and the privilege of participating in the amazing work God has been able to do through Padre José. His impact on Bolivia and the children of the streets here in La Paz is well known all over the world.  In 1994, he began FAI with a vision to help the children of the street, the alienated, the abused and those needing medical care with limited or no financial resources. Today this help is a reality.  Padre José continues to inspire all of us with his incredible energy, passion, compassion, joy and an infectious smile that is very hard to not reciprocate back.

Happy Birthday Padre José, you are an inspiration to us all!

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