I wanted to share a little more about Fr. Ben, who celebrated English Mass with us this past Sunday. He is a priest with the Divine Word Missionaries and spent over three decades serving the “scavenger” community at Smokey Mountain, which at one time was the third largest untreated garbage dump in the world. The dump gained its name from the plumes of toxic smoke rising from the decomposing garbage. Working with the community and the local parishes, Fr. Ben and many others were able to successfully petition the local government to shut down the dump site and build affordable housing in its place. Since then, he has begun many programs and initiatives to further develop the area and give more opportunities to the local community.
You can read more about Fr. Ben and his initiatives here: