Dear Father Peter and colleagues,/
It has always been my dream to help the immigrants in need of medical attention particularly in a country like ours where English is the language of the Land.
It is in this vein that toward the twilight of my life, it dawned on me that my five room office in Baldwin, Long Island where I practiced for about fifty years should be donated to the Mother Theresa Clinic of Our Lady of Shkodra. I am thankful to God to have inspired me in this direction.
It is our common duty, I believe, to help those of us who immigrated to this country without being prepared to face the problems that a new land exposes them to and where they have chosen to spend the rest of their lives. This has been the saga of all immigrants from all over the world who are privileged to land in our country and create a new life from the beginning.
Having helped many immigrants of all nationalities with particular concern to my own Albanian community for over fifty years, I can attest to the joy that one feels to help those in need. This pushed me to help the Albanian community in Jersey City, New Jersey from 1953 through 54, while I interned at Jersey City Medical Center. My first encounter was with the Arbreshe who had a sizable community in Jersey City at the time. I was surprised that they maintained the Albanian language for over five hundred years since they were forced to emigrate from Albania to Italy as a result of the Ottoman invasion. In Jersey City, they formed their society called George Castriota Skanderbeg. They asked me to speak at their dinner dance affair and this caused me a great deal of pleasure. Subsequently I opened my office in Baldwin, Long Island in 1960 and from then on, I have focused on the way to help the people who needed medical assistance not only from me but also from other specialists.
One day I got a call from Father Oroshi from the Church of Good Council, who wanted me to go there to give vaccinations to the Albanian children coming from Montenegro. The vaccination were the usual type given to children, who apparently were deprived of them in their country of origin. I was amazed to notice how quiet they were throughout many hours of vaccination procedures. I made this remark in a letter I sent to Father Oroshi for I was sure that once americanized, these children would be very noisy and would want cookies all the time. At the end of the vaccination period, Father Oroshi invited me to an Albanian restaurant on Arthur Avenue. I told him I would follow him in my car. I did not realize that not knowing the streets of the Bronx, I would quickly be lost and suddenly I was exposed to an area of the South Bronx where driving with an M.D. plate at a time in which drug addiction was rampant, constituted a risk to my life. I remember I said to myself that God saved me from communist atrocities only to face a dangerous situation in the South Bronx. Fortunately for me I saw a big sign on the highway showing a direction toward Connecticut. I got out of the Bronx and onto the highway and went towards Connecticut. Eventually I made the turn toward Long Island and arrived home. As soon as I arrived home I got a call from Father Oroshi who was with his friends at the restaurant waiting for me. I told him that I wished he had given me one of his friends in my car to help me find Arthur Avenue, which was completely unknown to me at the time. I followed up afterwards with a letter to Father Oroshi thanking him for the privilege he gave me to attend to the children of the future Albanian community.
All these children are grown up citizens today and have been successful in their endeavors. They have become good citizens of our new country, the United States of America.
Every day that I walk with my wife outside my independent assisted living facility in Battery Park City where we now live, I look at the Statue of Liberty and I think of the past, when I first came to this country and thank God for the privilege that was given to me to serve this country and its people with honor and with hard work, and raise a family who hopefully will succeed even better not only to serve the people of America, but people from all over the world in their chosen field.
I wish you luck in helping Father Peter and the Albanian community establish the Mother Theresa Clinic and I am sure that you will find the same joy that I have experienced all my life, particularly by taking care of those Albanians and other nationalities who suffered in concentration camps and prisons of the Iron Curtain.
In addition, honoring the name of Mother Theresa who soon will be a saint, by participating a little in her sacrifices for mankind, we all would experience tremendous joy.
Mother Theresa, soon to be Saint Theresa will continue to be a beacon of goodness for all peoples of the world, particularly I would add our own people who have suffered so much for almost half a century under a ruthless communist dictatorship. The martyrs, clergies of all faiths, and the common citizens would I believe be happy to see our work from Heaven.
Best of Luck,