By Brandon Longer
Polio was a major problem for the United States in the early twentieth century. In 1918, Ignatius Badami passed away from this deadly disease on May 24, days before his graduation from St. Thomas High School.
His sister, Rose Mary Badami, founded Magnificat House, which serves the poor and downtrodden in the Houston area.
December 4, a select few St. Thomas mothers went on a retreat to visit Magnificat House, where Rev. Father Storey, C.S.B., President, conferred an honorary diploma to Badami for her deceased brother.
Her face lit up with a mix of melancholy and joy. It was an emotional moment for all that were in the room, followed by Badami regaling the attendees with some of the lessons she learned throughout her life.
The mothers in attendance are deeply rooted within the Mother’s Club and care about the community. They were led by Director of Campus Ministry Martin Matulia.
This was also a big event for Matulia, who serves on the board at Magnificat House.
The Magnificat House and its food banks provide food to around 10,000 needy people within a month’s time.
The organization is so vital to the Houston community because it fills a niche that allows for people to eat and provides shelter.
Many members of the community that would go hungry without the generosity of Rose Mary Badami, who is now 89 and suffered a minor stroke roughly one month ago.
She is still active and fighting the war against hunger despite her age and health.
Rose Mary Badami is truly a Christ bearer, and our school is very blessed that Matulia has set up this unique relationship between our school and the less fortunate to open our eyes to what is happening within our community.
Magnificat House gets more than 500 letters requesting to join their shelter, but space is limited. The organization has very low affiliation with the government, and less than 10% of all funds go to administrative cost.
The Magnificat House exists for the benefit of the people and Rose Mary holds the thought close to her that we must all be Christ bearers.
She upholds this motto by her countless hours of helping and devoting her life to feed and shelter those who are less fortunate and not as blessed as others.
Within Magnificat there are those that help and those that need help. Magnificat takes in many people with criminal pasts who are looking to rejoin everyday society again.
Some are very skilled carpenters and most of the people at Magnificat provide a service that benefits the Magnificat community.
Those that need help are people that are stricken with an illness, whether it be a mental illness or whether it be someone stricken with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or hooked up to a dialysis machine, Magnificat still accepts them with open arms.
St. Thomas and Magnificat House has developed a special and unique relationship over the past 10 years, with students receiving the opportunity to see what goes on with the less fortunate members of society when they visit the organization for their sophomore retreat.
The importance of programs like these is immeasurable; many sophomores’ eyes are opened wide to the compassion of the Christian community.
“The Sophomore retreat was a really unique experience, after seeing the struggles that these people face it really made me think about the blessing God has given to me and my friends,” said sophomore Liam Maharj. “I witnessed first-hand the poverty in our community, but also got to see the good in our community with all the organizations like Loafs and Fishes and Magnificat house,” Maharaj said.
This event brings us closer with Magnificat House and the poor and homeless community of Houston.
“Our school’s ongoing profound relationship with Magnificat is the thing I am most proud of as I look back on my 11 years at St. Thomas,” Matulia said.
With Matulia as the Director of Campus Ministry and serving on the board of Magnificat House, the school’s relationship is only going to blossom in years to come.