The Price of a T-Shirt


The Price of a T-Shirt

One day I was working with a large group of Aymara children in J uli, Peru. This was a group called the Eucharistic Crusade. It was formed as a catechetical response for those who had recently made their First Holy Communion. As always, it was extremely cold there and the children were all wra pped u p in their shawls and hats. As I looked over the group, I spotted one little fellow, Juan, who was shivering i n his homespu n shirt and trousers. When class was over I invited him to come with me to the convent. We had recently received a shipment of used clothes from CRS from the United States. Most of the clothes were too large for him but I did find a tee shirt that would, at least, keep him a little warmer u nder his own shirt.

Juan had walked about 4 kilometers to come to this meeting. Off he went with his new shirt, walki ng those 4 kilometers again to his house in the campo.

That night, as another Sister and !sat in our cold house that was slightly warmed by a gas heater, we heard a knock on our door. I went to answer it and there in the darkness stood Jua n! He had walked those 4 kilometers back again and wanted to give me something. He opened a little homespu n bag out of which he took two eggs and ha nded them to me. His mother had sent these in return for the shirt! I hesitated about taking them as they could surely use them for their own family, as they were so poor. However, l couldn’t not accept them, which l did. After this he turned and left and walked back those 4 kilometers again to his home!

How’s that for a price for a tee shirt?

Sr. Helen Phillips,M.M.