For more than 15 years, Fr. Ken Hume (affectionately known as “Padre Tortilla”) has been making NPH Honduras his second home, spending several weeks every year living at Rancho Santa Fe and building strong friendships with many of our staff, volunteers, and pequeños in Honduras. Fr. Ken first met Fr. William Wasson, the founder of NPH, more than 50 years ago. Since then he has served in the U.S. Navy, become a Catholic priest, and served in many communities around the world, including his current home of Oregon City, OR. But it is at NPH Honduras that Fr. Ken has found true inspiration, happiness, and family.
Fr. Ken first became a godparent to Marta, an NPH Honduras pequeña, 13 years ago. Since then he has supported Marta all the way through medical school and become a child sponsor to 17 other children in Honduras! Through the years, “Padre Tortilla” has watched many of our students grow up, and although he doesn’t speak Spanish, the children flock to his humor and attention, making it clear that Fr. Ken is part of the family. His mantra is “people with a good heart speak the same language,” and you can tell that Fr. Ken is as proud of the children he sponsors as if they were his own grandchildren.
In addition to the children he sponsors, Fr. Ken helps out at the Ranch saying Mass, presiding over baptisms, and helping in the kitchen during mealtimes. His support has also grown over the years to help NPH with many important projects, such as solar water-heaters, lockers, and printing. Over the years Fr. Ken has generously donated more than $375,000 to NPH Honduras – an unbelievable commitment that has had a deep impact on the lives of our children there.
Most recently, Fr. Ken decided to make a special contribution of $25,000 to NPH Honduras in honor of NPH President Reinhart Koehler. Fr. Ken shared that he has been so moved by Reinhart’s total dedication to the children of NPH and his leadership in Honduras and beyond through the years. He told us, “I just want Reinhart to know how much I appreciate his devotion, and I hope everyone in the NPH family will join me in appreciating Reinhart’s impact and contributions.” Fr. Ken’s gift will go to support three programs that are important to Reinhart and the Ranch: 1) Casa Eva, the home for the elderly at NPH Honduras; 2) the Hermanos Mayores program, which sustains connections with, and supports our older brothers and sisters (NPH graduates); and 3) Education at the Ranch, especially the vocational workshops, which always need funding. After learning of the gift, Reinhart shared, “I am very honored and humbled by this gift, and by Fr. Ken’s generosity over the years. We are so lucky to have him as a friend and part of the NPH family.”
We were excited to welcome Fr. Ken and his sister to Seattle a few weeks ago, as he was able to concelebrate the graduation Mass for our Seattle Leadership Institute students and see several of the students from NPH Honduras with whom he has built lasting friendships. Padre Tortilla, we are so grateful for your unfaltering support and unconditional love and service to NPH and our children!