Madre: The Nun Who Was Mother to the Orphans of Honduras

Madre: The Nun Who Was Mother to the Orphans of Honduras

Madre: The Nun Who Was Mother to the Orphans of Honduras

Madre: The Nun Who Was Mother to the Orphans of Honduras



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"Children have the right to be happy. So God sent me to help them." —Sister Maria Rosa Leggol

In Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras, in 1966, a short, plump, middle-aged Catholic nun was hot on the heels of the richest man in the country. Sister María Rosa Leggol, a hospital nurse with a fifth-grade education, had no money, no social standing, no clout. What she did have was the audacity to ask big favors of powerful men and the unwavering conviction that her dream—to rescue, house, and educate street children—was sanctioned by God.

She also had the gall to think she could stop the man's airplane from taking off.

The help she received that day triggered a dramatic chain of events resulting in the rescue and education of tens of thousands of destitute children in the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Through her network of children's villages, schools, farms, clinics, vocational training centers, and microbusinesses, this indomitable nun empowered poor Hondurans to live, grow, and work with dignity. Madre is a celebration of a fearless woman's great goodness, charisma, and chutzpah in challenging corruption and machismo to break generational cycles of poverty.

Writer and mission trip leader Kathy Martin O'Neil sets the unlikely triumphs of this "Angel of the Poor" against the backdrop of Honduras's deprivation, broken families, and gang violence that send desperate young migrants fleeing for their lives. Drawing from more than a decade of mission travel to SAN, she captures Sister Maria Rosa's magnetic allure and Franciscan wisdom on how best to change hearts and stand with the marginalized people of the world.

Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodriguez of Honduras, who is advancing her cause for sainthood, introduces his friend, Sister María Rosa Leggol, in a beautiful Foreword.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940160775128
Publisher: Cornelia Avenue Press
Publication date: 01/05/2022
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Kathy Martin O’Neil is a writer, mission trip leader, and the author of two books about Sister María Rosa: Madre: The Nun Who Was Mother to the Orphans of Honduras (Cornelia Avenue Press, 2022) and the upcoming Always Room For One More: Wit and Wisdom from the Mother Teresa of Honduras (Cornelia Avenue Press, 2022). She is the former managing editor of Outside Magazine and Rand McNally’s editorial book division, with degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. Her 30 trips to Honduras and counting have sparked keen interest in Latin American culture, inventive fruit juices, salty Spanish words, reggaeton music, devotion to the Virgin Mary, and the dangerous situation for migrant children at the U.S. border. In her spare time between driving kids around she writes a little music, sings and plays banjo and bodhrán in a band called the Crooked Finger Rhythm Revue, leads music at church, and sings Alto 2 with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir. She resides with her family in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Crossroads of America, after stints in Chicago, Santa Fe, Toronto, and Innsbruck, Austria. Visit her website for additional adoration of Honduras and thoughts about short-term mission travel at
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