[Congressional Record Volume 140, Number 64 (Friday, May 20, 1994)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[Congressional Record: May 20, 1994]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



                           HON. PETER DEUTSCH

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                          Friday, May 20, 1994

  Mr. DEUTSCH. Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of John 
Ricciardelli, a close friend and constituent. Mr. Ricciardelli is the 
Florida chairman of the Matinal Board of the Boys Towns of Italy as 
well as its tireless advocate. It is through his commitment that I have 
become familiar with the Boys Towns of Italy and how I come today to 
pay tribute to the humanitarian efforts of Msgr. John Patrick Carroll-
Abbing. The Monsignor's work has spanned the course of the last half-
century and has served to establish and preserve the Boys Towns of 
  Born in Dublin, Ireland, Monsignor Carroll-Abbing moved to Rome in 
1930 to join thee priesthood. Ordained a priest in 1937, he was 
appointed to Vatican service later that year. It was the Monsignor's 
subsequent work in World War II, during which he founded many first aid 
stations and organized a group called Medical Aid, that he first became 
acquainted with the orphans created by the war. This involvement with 
distressed World War Ii civilians led to his involvement with the war's 
orphans. Touched and amazed by the fortitude of these children, the 
Monsignor was compelled to work on their behalf. Many of these young 
orphans aided the Monsignor in his war relief efforts.
  The winter of 1944 was marked by food shortages and misery. After 
seeing the starving boys pressed against the walls for heat, the 
Monsignor felt a personal responsibility to help them. No existing 
institution would take the orphans, so the Monsignor established the 
shoeshine Hotel where he lived with the orphans. The daily work was 
divided among the residents of the hotel, with each boy having his own 
responsibilities. Soon enough the group grew too large for the 
Shoeshine, and the Monsignor was prompted to acquire vacant army 
barracks outside the city.
  In 1945 Monsignor Carroll-Abbing founded his first Boys' Town 45 
miles from Rome. The purpose of the Town was simple, to give orphaned 
or abandoned children a home. The Boys' Towns were run completely by 
the children. They shared in the work responsibilities and learned to 
respect one another. Monsignor Carroll-Abbing raised money worldwide to 
pay for these life savings boys' Towns.
  The dreams of Monsignor Carroll-Abbing have been realized today with 
none Boys' Towns and one Girls' Town in Italy, all run by the 
Monsignor's international Boys' Towns of Italy--the organization which 
he established. Orphans in Italy no longer go without homes. Beside the 
Towns which he established, the Monsignor's organization also donates 
money, clothes, medical care, furniture, and time to children in need 
  Today Monsignor Carroll-Abbing's touch is felt around the globe. He 
has extended his aid across seas and continents. More than 400 refugees 
from Africa and Asia who suffered due to war, famine, and disaster have 
found a home in the Monsignor's Boys' Towns. In addition, the Monsignor 
travels around the world to disaster sights to assist in relief 
efforts, on each occasion with the help of children.
  With the world changing as fast as it has, Monsignor Carroll-Abbing 
has changed with it. He was works with children with drug addictions, 
who have attempted suicide, who are runaways, and who have committed 
acts of violence. He has an understanding with the Italian courts which 
allows him to gain custody of children who have been orphaned or are 
delinquents. His ability to communicate with youths has only been 
overshadowed by his generosity and kindness.
  Monsignor Carroll-Abbing's major contribution to the world has been 
to give opportunity to a group of forgotten children who would have 
otherwise lacked it. Msgr. John Patrick Carroll-Abbing has served 
humanity throughout his life; whether they be orphans, delinquents, or 
children in need, Monsignor Carroll-Abbing is a man who has touched, 
changed and saved the lives of thousands of children. For more than 50 
years he has dedicated himself to improving the lives of children. 
Monsignor Carroll-Abbing is a man who should be revered by all, and 
overlooked by none, as one of the great humanitarians in history.