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November 2022

Dear Friends and Helpers,

We start the 2022 FHMB Update with November 3, 2022, Washington DC, at the Opus Prize Award Ceremony. The Opus Prize recognizes unsung heroes who are conquering the world's most persistent social problems.

Damien House President, Sister Ann Credidio, BVM, was one of three finalists to receive an Opus Prize.  We have known about the prize and finally the night came.  Sister Annie was awarded $100,000! 

We are so happy for her and Damien House.   Congratulations, Sister Annie!


Sr Annie with the other $100,000 recipient giving a hammock to them with Nathan and Germania.

2022 was another year we were unable to visit our missions of Damien House and Una Sola Fuerza in person. The Embassy in Guayaquil STRONGLY suggests tourists not visit due to corruption in the police, military and the drug mafias, the kidnappings and murders, so we stayed here in California.  We were still able to assist in many ways from here. 

In February we had a jewelry sale and made over $5,000 and in May we had our annual Pasta Dinner where we raised $42,000!

We sent scholarship money to Una Sola Fuerza for the students @ $250 per student.  This covers school expenses, uniforms and a meal kit sent home five days a week.  The uniforms are being made by the women in the sewing center, which gives them a job and keeps the money in the community. We continue to send money for the meal kits for the seniors and funds for medicine.  The sisters really needed a truck to go get the free food distributions, so FHMB funded 3/5th the cost of the 4-door truck.

Above picture: Thank you card from scholarship recipient.

Left picture: Sr Annie with thank you cards from students.

Below: A video of children saying thank you for the truck.

An anonymous donor provided the funds needed to install two water tanks as well.  Total sent is $28,000 so far this year.

Damien House received funds for Carlos to complete his Master’s degree, funds for Mariuxi’s university expenses, and funds for Fabian’s housing while in Guayaquil for university studies.  Another anonymous gift has covered the cost of the demolition and building a new roof in the final section of the kitchen and wound care clinic.


Since Sr. Annie has sent medical teams out to the countryside, like Rincon and Babahoyo, they have seen in person the more pressing needs of their patients. 

Dr. Martinez (in white) and RN Carlos in the countryside doing a clinic.

Left Picture: Roof over hallway and rooms complete.

We sent money to complete the walls of a woman’s home and renovate another home where the patient had had a stroke and the wife needed a way to get him in and out of the house. Teresita, our long-time friend and patient, needed a bathroom in her house as she has many medical issues, so we sent the money.


Total sent to Damien House is $43,550 so far this year. We are glad to report that almost 99% of our funds are spent directly on the missions, with only slightly more than 1% on administrative expenses (like state fees, postage, credit card fees, etc.)

We thank ALL our donors for their ongoing support.  Without you, we could do nothing to help these missions in Ecuador.

May God Bless you Abundantly!

In love and gratitude,

Betty Matteson, Katie Brown, and the Board of Directors of FHMB.


Board of Directors

Katie Brown          Kathy MacCarthy           Julie Mishleh      

Patrick Burke           Mike MacCarthy             Robert J. Mulcahy

Jerry Legare            Betty Matteson               Cindy Holm           

Deacon Patrick McCay

Inspired by the teaching of Jesus and the call to have a preferential love of the poor, Friends & Helpers of Madre Berenice was organized to provide help and support to the missionaries of Ecuador. Assistance is given by acquiring healthcare and educational supplies, clothing, and funds to supplement selected education and health services. Members witness to the love of God by visiting and getting to know and serve the people personally.


We are a charitable organization under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3)

Tax ID 20-8115700


FHMB, PO Box 9739, San Diego, CA 92169

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