Profile: Father William B. Wasson
Father William B. Wasson of Phoenix, Arizona, founded Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos™ (NPH) in Mexico in 1954.
Born on December 21, 1923 in Phoenix, Arizona, Father William B. Wasson was always concerned with the needs of the poor. He received his MA in law and social sciences at San Luis Rey University, Santa Barbara, California. He then traveled to Mexico, where he was ordained a priest in 1953 by the VII Bishop of Cuernavaca. Father Wasson was assigned to the chapel in the Tepetates market district of Cuernavaca, and almost immediately instituted a daycare center for poor children. A year later he rescued a boy from a harsh prison sentence for stealing from the church poor box “because he was hungry.” Father Wasson won custody of the boy and eight others in the cell with him. Thus began Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos™ (NPH), which means “Our Little Brothers and Sisters.”
Father Wasson dedicated over 50 years of his life to serving as a father, provider and teacher to countless children. NPH now operates homes and programs in nine countries: Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru. He received international recognition for his work on behalf of children. Read his full obituary.
As a scripture scholar, Father Wasson wrote three books: Luke XV, Gospel in the Dust, and The Sermon on the Mount.
On August 16, 2006, surrounded by pequeños, the children of NPH he loved so dearly, Father Wasson died in Cottonwood, Arizona. His legacy lives on through the more than 18,000 orphaned, abandoned and poor children raised at the NPH homes he established, and the thousands of children and families currently being supported.
Quotes about Father Wasson
“Your love, your work, your LIFE is a great inspiration to all of us who care about children and families. We in this neighborhood are grateful to God for creating you and to you for allowing God to work such wonders through you.”
– Fred Rogers
“From the moment I heard of Father Bill Wasson, I sensed there was a special bond between this man and the beautiful children entrusted to his care . . . His wonderful organization – Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos – makes life worth living for orphans in Mexico and Honduras. His helpers provide love for the children of Haiti sentenced to death by AIDS . . . For me, it is a miracle that Father Bill and his people can rescue an abandoned child from the heartlessness of the streets and teach him to read, to care, to trust.”
– Plácido Domingo
“He has spent his time helping the most important people in the world – children.”
– John Wayne
“I ask God to continue to shower his blessings on you and this beautiful work, that in the years to come many more children may experience God’s fatherly love through you.”
– Mother Teresa
“I have watched a miracle – and it is a beautiful sight to behold, the family’s growth, your tenacity and love for these children, and all that has occurred over these years.”
– Helen Hayes
“The love you have shared with countless numbers of children has most certainly enriched the world. You have blessed their lives far beyond what any material wealth could do for them; for you have given them love, hope, faith . . . and care.”
– Pope John Paul II
“You have clearly demonstrated your potential for leadership, as well your dedication to children’s needs. By taking an active role within your community, you have encouraged others to do the same.”
– John McCain, United States Senator, February 6, 2001
Photo from People Magazine, November 25, 1985
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