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Sydney Man Keeps Promise to Holy Mother to Help World's Poor

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
5 Jun 2015

Badwee Moussa founder of the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary movement and the Rosary Army to help the poor and in need worldwide

After 11 years of marriage, Sydney couple Badwee and Nazha Moussa were in despair. They desperately wanted to start a family but so far the blessed gift of children had eluded them. That's when Badwee invoked the Virgin Mary. Almost immediately his prayers were answered.

"The moment we were told Nazha was pregnant, I gave thanks to God and the Holy Mother and told her I would keep my promise," Badwee says.

As he prayed to the Virgin Mary and promised that once he and Nazha had a child he would show his thanks by taking his family on a pilgrimage of the Holy Marian Shrines of Lourdes, Fatima as well as those in Lebanon, the homeland of the parents of the Australian-couple.

"Our daughter's arrival 10 years ago was a 100 percent miracle," Badwee says today. "In hearing our prayers, my life was transformed. That's when I told God to  work through me, to use my hands and feet and all things in every way to proclaim His great love and His great gift."

Naming his daughter Mary, after the Holy Mother, Badwee and his family embarked on the promised pilgrimage, praying and giving thanks at the Marian shrines of France, Portugal and Lebanon.  Badwee also set about his other promise to Our Lady which was to dedicate his life to helping the world's poor and making a real difference to their lives. That was 10 years ago.

The Sydney group in royal blue t shirts spent time with deaf children and adults cared for by the Missionaries of the Poor in Naga

Today  Badwee and Nazha the proud parents of 10 year old Mary and two more daughters, Aleicha 7 and baby of the family, Gabriella 4.

Badwee is also a man on a mission. Founder of Sydney's Queen of the Most Holy Rosary community and the online internantional Rosary Army, for the past three years he has been a tireless fundraiser and supporter of the work of the Missionaries of the Poor in Naga, in Philippines.

Helped by members of the community he founded together with a contingent of tireless young people who are part of Bankstown's St Felix de Valois Youth Ministry and other parishes across Sydney, Badwee has also collected and shipped containers filled with donated goods to help those in need.

Sydney's Ben Saliba plays with one of the young children with multiple disabilities cared for by the Missionaries of the Poor in Naga

In the wake of Cyclone Haiyan, a container packed with blankets, blood pressure packs, flashlights, white goods, furniture, canned goods, first aid kits, flashlights, medicines, nappies and other essentials was sent to the Philippines.

Badwee and his team have also organised containers filled with food and other goods to those in need in Fiji, the Lebanon and most recently, to Iraq.

"There are few places where Christians are safe in Iraq. They persecuted by both Shi'ites and Sunnis and we try to do whatever we can for them," he says.

Organising a container of desperately needed food for the Christians of Iraq, he tells relates the story of what he insists shows the power of power of prayer and Divine providence.

"My wife and I were doing a check list of all the food supplies we had collected for the container to be shipped to the Iraqi Christians. My wife was telling me that the only thing we needed was more flour, when a woman came into the delicatessen we own and run, and asked why we needed flour. When we told her, she took out her mobile phone, made a call and suddenly we had 10 tonnes of flour to add to the container," he says.

In addition to sending the containers of donated goods to those in need across the world, each Christmas for the past two years Badwee has taken a group of young volunteers, many of whom are members of the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary community and members Bankstown's St Felix de Valois youth ministry to spend several weeks working alongside the Missionaries of the Poor in Naga.

Since joyous and long awaited arrival of their first child, Mary proud father Badwee has devoted his life to the Lord and the Holy Mother

The poor in Naga eke out an existence. Their only home is city's rubbish tips. Many also suffer from disabilities. Some are deaf, others blind, still others with physical challenges from injury, illness and malnutrition. The Missionaries of the Poor care for many of the disabled children in their monastery and feed hundreds of the poor each day.

Until last Christmas the only way they could get an ill child or adult, or a pregnant woman to the nearest hospital was in one of their trucks, which were old and always at risk of breaking down.

Fundraising is one of Badwee's fortes and last year with the help of Ben Saliba of the St Felix de Valois parish, they managed to raise more than $40,000 for the Missionaries of the Poor in Naga.

"This enabled us to buy the Brothers an ambulance which we presented to them when we arrived last Christmas," Badwee says.

Now he is about to start fundraising in earnest not only for the Missionaries of the Poor in Naga, but for the Missionaries newest venture in Timor Leste.

Proud parents Badwee and Nazha Moussa (right) thank the Holy Mother for the gift of their girls (l to r) Mary, Aleicha and Gabriella

"The Missionaries of the Poor are already based in seven countries. They go to the most impoverished places on earth to help the poorest of the poor. Now they are about to expand and open a monastery in East Timor and we have told them that we will help raise the money for a brand new hospital and to help them with their Monastery and Apostalate so they can care for Timor's abandoned children and the elderly," he says.

To raise funds Badwee calls on the Rosary Army he established online and which now has more than 30,000 members worldwide. The Queen of the Most Holy Rosary community also pitch in as do families, friends and parishes such as St Felix de Valois. Together with movie evenings, special movie screenings and a host of other events, th group's fourth annual Gala Fundraising Dinner is being held at Fairfield's Imperial Paradiso on 26 July.

For anyone who wishes to attend the dinner or make a donation to the Missionaries of the Poor and their work in the Philippines and Timor Leste,  SMS Badwee at 0433 318 875 or see https://www.facebook.com/events/509862289165101/permalink/509862959165034/

Badwee Moussa led a group of Australians to assist the Missionaries of the Poor's work in the Philippines in December last year