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Update from La Esperanza

Photo by Carlos Lira

 Shana Harrison and Alain Quellaien.

Thanks to the write-up about La Esperanza that was printed in the Divinity magazine and published on the Internet, Alain Quellaien’s family found him and proved all of our previous information to be incorrect!

After being in contact via Internet for several months, Alain’s niece Priscilla, who found him while doing Internet heritage research, came to visit. The encounter was storybook fantasy come true. Alain and Priscilla had previously only known each other through photos, but that was not evident as Alain set his eyes on his niece for the first time ever. Grace and pure joy abound as Alain ran to embrace Priscilla. Celebration filled the day as Alain came to know Priscilla, her son Liam, and fiancé Nelson.

This joyous encounter was followed by yet another one week later as more of Alain’s family came to see him, including one of his half-sisters! Alain’s face radiated as he re-encountered his sister and got to know his niece Paula and his great niece (age four months). He expressed his love and pride in his gentle way, holding the baby and admiring her, and his profound happiness in his playful way of constant hugging and clowning around with his nieces and sister.

The entire community of La Esperanza has celebrated with Alain the discovery of his family, and we rejoice in gratitude to God for this beautiful experience and opportunity to incorporate Alain’s family into the family of La Esperanza.

Shana Harrison D’97
Director, Sheltered Workshop La Esperanza
Santiago, Chile

Remembering Donn Michael Farris

Donn Michael Farris

In the Spring issue of Divinity magazine, I was sorry to read of the death of Donn Michael Farris who served for over four decades as the divinity school’s librarian. The Duke Divinity family is truly diminished by his passing.

Back in 1957 and before the era of computers, my 375 page dissertation—“ The Christian Ethical Theory of Bishop Francis J. McConnell” had to be typed in quadruplicate. Donn Michael served as my copy editor and personally accompanied me as we drove to Greensboro to the company that would bind the copies.

“Walter,” Donn Michael said forcefully, “Walter,” Donn Michael said forcefully, “last year one of my charges had an accident on the way to Greensboro.

His car caught on fire and all copies of his dissertation were burned up. I won’t risk letting that happen to you.” My remonstrance that I was a good and careful driver was in vain.

With the original copy guarded preciously on his lap, Donn Michael rode “shotgun” with me to Greensboro. The other three copies were strategically located in the trunk and back seat! I have never forgotten this act of kindness and his gracious manner.

Walter W. Benjamin G’75
Eden Prarie, Minn.

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