of Saint Patrick of Armagh
Father Chris, Abbot of The Order of Saint Patrick of Armagh, has a vision to provide a social, familial home environment to men and women, veterans of the United States Armed Forces, through the "Adopt a Veteran" Program administered by the Veteran's Administration. Along with the "Adopt a Vet Program" assisted living care will be provided, giving them the care, comfort, and dignity they deserve as a result of their service to their country. These are men and women veterans actively passing from this life with no family, no extended family to mourn their passing, to remember them and their service to this nation.
Living amidst the a loving community of friars, sisters and oblates, the end of life needs of individuals will be handled with compassion, and dignity. Who amongst us awakes one day to say, "I want to be homeless."
There is a large number of homeless men and women who are our veterans. For instance, in Texas, there are well over 1.5 million homeless veterans. Of that amount, fully one third are women with children. California has an equal number as do the states on the Eastern Seaboard. We have to start somewhere and right here, right now is the somewhere and sometime.
In New Mexico there are over 1000 homeless veterans. Of that number there are over 300 who are women with children.
When our nation had a need, these men and women stepped forward to answer that calling. Now, in their hour of need we have a responsibility both as citizens and Christians to answer their need. These men and women were ready and willing to give their very lives in service to this country. How do we repay someone who has taken an oath to lay down his or her very life on our behalf?
We are asking the great Saint Patrick of Armagh to lead us in the building and operation our assisted living facility.
Historically, monks following the example of this patron saint of Ireland made their monasteries centers of prayer and contemplation but also of active service. They cared for the sick, widowed, poor, and abandoned, the marginalized of society just as Christ lived and taught amongst them in His time with us.
St. Patrick, in the mid-400s, delivered Ireland from the cult of the Druids by his ultra-convincing arguments defending the gospel and thereby Christianized the country. His educational center was established in the city of Armagh, where his principal church was founded. That church as a main Cathedral in Ireland to this very day. He decreed that only those who were educated at Armagh could be permitted to preach the gospel.
Our Dual Purpose
The Comfort, Care and Dignity Component:
Father Chris recognizes and accepts the calling to design and implement compassionate care and companionship for individuals in need of assisted living care; takes into consideration emotional, medical, and spiritual comfort, in addition to providing a safe haven at Emmaus House.
Our purpose is to provide not only care and comfort to those entrusted in our care. But to afford them the dignity they have earned as a result of their military service. There are nearly 1000 homeless veterans in New Mexico with nearly 300 of them women, many with children.
Nearly a week does not go past without a significant number of their bodies going unclaimed at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe. For these souls, who have served our country, to pass without notice is a travesty. In the stead of preaching, in the stead of teaching, our mission, our one purpose is to serve, to provide where there is a need and where we can make a difference, whether to the one or the thousands.
The Spiritual Community Component:
Contemplative prayer - The Order of Saint Patrick, Mother House, will be located in New Mexico and will consist of consecrated sisters and men who have received a calling and are in formation.
There will be housing for priests and male religious as well as well as women religious. The Order is open to those members of the laity who feel a calling for the religious life and wish to make a solemn profession to serve Christ, whether as professed within the religious community, or as Oblates.
Professed members will manage the assisted living care facility, while those in formation will provide grounds-keeping, clerical functions, hospitality, and similar work of the day.
All will gather for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass each morning. The Daily Office will also be observed by the entire community throughout the day.
The community welcomes those individuals for whom the apostolate is dedicated.
As with the Knights Hospitallers, our motto, our commission from Christ:
“For Service to Mankind – pro utilitate hominum ”