History of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos
In 1954, a boy was arrested for stealing from the poor box of a small church in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. The young priest in charge, Father William Wasson of the United States, was unwilling to press charges against this "thief." Instead, he asked for custody of the boy. One week later, the judge sent him eight more homeless boys. By year's end, 32 boys were in residence and Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH), Spanish for "Our Little Brothers and Sisters," was born.
Over 18.700 children have grown up in the NPH family, which now operates homes in eight additional countries: Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Bolivia. Today, over 3,300 children are being cared for in a loving, secure environment.
For a detailed history of NPH, see the Chronology of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos.
In Loving Memory (obituaries)
Father William B. Wasson, Founder of NPH
"Most important for me is that my children practice charity, because if they love they will be loved. This will make that their work is efficient and effective, they will exercise an influence on their own children and on their society and they will reach its salvation."
—Fr. William B. Wasson, Founder of Nuestros PequeÃ±os Hermanosâ„¢
Born on December 21, 1923 in Phoenix, Arizona, Fr. William 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. Fr. 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 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.
Fr. Wasson has dedicated the past 50 years of his life to serving as a father, provider and teacher to more than 18.700 orphaned, abandoned and poor children. NPH now operates homes in nine countries: Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Peru, and Bolivia. He has received
for his work on behalf of children.
As a scripture scholar, Fr. Wasson has written three books: Luke XV,
Gospel in the Dust,
and The Sermon on the Mount.
If you are interested in purchasing a copy of one of these books, please contact us.
On August 16th, 2006, surrounded by pequeños, the children of NPH he loved so dearly, Fr. Wasson died in Cottonwood, Arizona. His legacy lives on through more than 3,000 children living today in the nine NPH homes he established. Read his full obituary.