Tue | Mar 20, 2018

Diary of the Ghetto Priest | The four comedians

Published:Friday | July 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Chinaman, Howie, Albert, and Five Cent are four little comedians who have made our hearts sing. They are a fraternity of Down's syndrome-affected individuals who live at Faith Centre, but are at times sent to other centres.

Chinaman is clearly of Chinese descent mixed in with Jamaican-African descent. With apron on, he would go about the kitchen sweeping. He would do his job seriously then burst out in a big-belly laugh once the garbage was neatly compiled. He would place the broom under his chin and celebrate, calling to all the other homeless residents that labour is fun and labour is love.

Chinaman has closed eyes and big fat cheeks; he flops around his legs like a seal when he walks. He loves to pal around with Howie, Albert, and Five Cent, and slap them on their shoulder, while he gurgles in a language that only this fabulous four seem to understand.

Albert is taller than Chinaman.

He climbs on to the bottom bunk of our bed, and dusts and cleans the upper mattresses, then he comes down to the bottom bunk, and while humming and singing in his own vernacular, gets the job done. Then neatly, he sets out the bed sheets and pillows and chastises the other homeless not to lie in bed until the proper time.

Albert loves to hug. He has been with us some 30 years, holds hands with us, strokes our cheeks, places his head on our shoulders, and proposes marriage to every woman who comes to volunteer.

"Diana, me want marry you."

"Maggie, take me home with you, darling."

Our volunteers chuckle, play with him, and promise to marry him. Pretty soon, Albert will have a harem of women, which we don't allow in the Catholic Church. So the brothers warn him that he might be excommunicated!


Howie is really rather lazy. His work is playing cards and dominoes. He challenges all the other residents who are crippled or sickly in wheelchairs or suffering from existential despair, knowing that he will always win, whether by cheating or by honest victory, which is a rather rare.

Howie really has the look of a rascal, and constantly his pockets are full of scraps of bread or biscuits. All the other residents go to him as a provider after the regular three meals.

Howie strangely loves the company of the sickest of our people. He goes over them near their beds, he chatters with them, and acts like a priest, blessing them and praying over them. Sometimes he would grieve with them and pretend to wipe away their tears. Then he goes into a number of 'Hail Marys' and 'Our Fathers' with them. How sincere he is and when he is sincere is certainly debatable. But the brothers give him the benefit of the doubt.

Five Cent came to us reluctantly from Eventide, until he found out that the rest of the gang was coming to us. Five Cent has that name because he used to go about the street begging for five cents.

When he came to Faith Centre he changed his name to 'Dollar' because of devaluation.

We told him no need, since we would take care of him.


Five Cent has the most beautiful face and the kindest of dispositions. He would smile at everyone he saw. He is real sunshine at Faith Centre. He works at any task, whether gardening, taking care of the garbage, or instructing others in discipline. You could say that Five Cent is a real boss man, backing up the brothers in their work or simply exercising quality control.

One day I saw him feeding a crippled resident. The resident named Carl would not open his mouth to receive the rice and chicken. Five Cent growled at him and demanded that he eat otherwise he would no longer be his friend. Immediately Carl opened his mouth and ate.

"Let me have no more trouble with you."

Two of these four men passed away very recently - Chinaman and Albert. We are all deeply saddened. They will surely go to Heaven. They were almost total in their innocence. They were goodness personified.

"Let the little children come unto me," says the Lord.

I have watched them receive communion. They are most devoted to the Lord. They kneel, they stick out their tongues for communion, they clasp their hands together, and often they weep.

What innocence! What purity! What goodness! Surely they are angels sent down from Heaven.

Now the reduction of Down's syndrome cases over the past five years is by 80 per cent in the United States. I grieve they are being aborted. Certainly, we are poorer in their absence.

Our beloved brothers and sisters are being killed by misguided and heartless humanists and environmentalists. Pray for them.

Please send your unwanted Down's syndrome-affected individuals to us.