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Irish cite 1847 Choctaw humanity in response to Navajo/Hopi Covid-19 Appeal

Irish cite 1847 Choctaw humanity in response to Navajo/Hopi Covid-19 Appeal

In 1988 Don Mullan learned of the Choctaw generosity towards Ireland’s ‘Famine’ victims while speaking in upstate New York. In 1989 he travelled to Oklahoma to thank the Choctaw people for their generosity and to invite them to Ireland to lead the AFrI Great Famine Walk in 1990. On that occasion he was made an Honorary Chief of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Thus began a wonderful relationship between Ireland and the Choctaw which is outlined elsewhere on this website.

Little did Mullan realise the impact the highlighting of this little detail of history would have in the years following, including visits to the Choctaw by the Irish President Mary Robinson and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

On May 5, 2020, Mullan began to get texts telling him of a news item on the main Irish (RTE) television news concerning an outpouring of generosity from Ireland to a GoFundMe Covid-19 appeal by Navajo/Hopi Native Americans. The organizers were surprised by the many donations that were coming from Ireland, many of them referencing the Choctaw generosity to Ireland in 1847, the darkest year of the Great ‘Famine’. The story has now gone viral, with international medial outlets also covering it:

Here is a link to the RTE coverage.

Here is a link to CNN coverage:

Here is a link to an Irish Times article.

And here is the link to the GoFundMe appeal that has called forth such an inspiring outpouring of humanity from the Irish worldwide.

Thank you!




Round up of a Life – Fr. James O’Halloran SDB

Round up of a Life – Fr. James O’Halloran SDB

Fr. Jim O’Halloran SDB is one of those people who changed the course of my life – literally.

I encountered Fr. Jim at the Development Studies Course, Kimmage Manor, Dublin, during the academic year 1978-79, where he was lecturing and I was a student, and we immediately became friends. A friendship that endures to this day.

In September 2018, Fr. Jim shared with me a short resume of his life and commitment as an Irish missionary in Latin America and his championing of Basic Christian Communities, a movement that helped democratize the Catholic Church in Latin America and offers renewed hope today at a time when the Church is in turmoil.

The following essay of Fr. Jim’s life and experience is offered to visitors to this website as a testimony to a man of great integrity who not only gave his life to the poorest of the poor, but who remains one of the most enduring influences of my own.

In the email that accompanied the document and which he has given me permission to share with visitors to my website, Fr. Jim wrote:

“Herewith a document…  I think has historic significance. It speaks of a ‘new’ church that is trying to emerge since Vatican II. It was there in the beginning after Christ, but Constantine gave secular powers to the bishops which brought in the institutionalized and clerically dominated church that has lasted until John XXIII and Vatican II. This is the Church that Francis is trying to bring in. A community of communities that operates on dialogue and consensus. I brought out a little book in 1986 on pastoral planning that used dialogue and consensus and it was the method Pope Francis used in his recent synods. It’s a church that is run on collegiality and subsidiarity.”

To read James O’Halloran’s ‘ROUND UP OF A LIFE’ please click here.

Since receipt of the above, Fr. Jim has sent me three other important documents that are key contributions to understand the enormous and historical contribution he has made to the advancement of Justice and Human Rights within the Universal Church:

  1. Summary Introduction to work in Africa and Worldwide
  2. Report for Misereor – Programme on Basic Christian Communities and Justice in Africa 1981-1992
  3. Historical Profile of Small Christian Communities in the World
Pele’s Goals for Life and the Little Prince Hospital

Pele’s Goals for Life and the Little Prince Hospital

On Thursday 26 March 2009 at a dinner in Curitiba, Brazil, Don Mullan was presented to Pelé as the first European Ambassador of the Little Prince Hospital.

“I am happy you are part of the team,” Pele told the Irish author. “As they say in football – ‘Keep the ball rolling.”

Mullan was invited by the British sports magazine, ‘The League’ to write an article about Pele’s Goals for Life and the Little Prince Hospital for its April 2009 edition. You may access the article by clicking here.

All photographs in the article were taken by Mullan on his NOKIA N95 mobile phone.