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Amazing Story of Trevor Farrell

Young Trevor Farrell, feeding the hungry, and clothing the naked. Cover Photo of the book written by his parents, Frank and June Farrell with Edward Wakin.

Young Trevor Farrell, feeding the hungry, and clothing the naked.
Cover Photo of the book written by his parents,
Frank and June Farrell with Edward Wakin.

The readings from this past weekend reminded me of a story about a young boy. Eleven year old Trevor Farrell was watching the local news in December, 1983 and couldn’t believe what his eyes were seeing. Here, in his own City of Philadelphia – the city of Brotherly Love – he saw a story of the homeless scattered throughout the streets. How could this be?

That evening he began a one person crusade to help the homeless people in downtown Philadelphia. He and his parents, with three other children, lived in a sixteen room house in a plush suburb, far removed from the disturbing sight of the “street people”.

After much persuasion on Trevor’s part, his parents, Frank and June, with many misgivings, drove their son downtown that night, a 12 mile one way trip. “He will soon forget all this”, they said to each other. Trevor’s only contribution that night was an old yellow blanket and his favorite pillow.

The first homeless man they met was lying on a hot air vent with the freezing wind blowing about his coiled up body. Trevor wrapped the old yellow blanket around the man and put the pillow under his head. A mighty work of charity had begun.

So began this nightly ride for the next year, with clothes, food and hope for the people without hope. Trevor, with the help of his parents and many volunteers, opened a 33 room lodging house to provide food and a warm place to sleep for the homeless. It is called “Trevor’s Place”.

Trevor continued this work of charity for nine years, receiving recognition from President Ronald Reagan, Mother Teresa and the United Nations. A movie was even made of this touching story. Though he is no longer involved with this campaign, his story is a true answer to today’s readings.

Isaiah reminds us: “Thus says the LORD: Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own.” And in our Gospel, Matthew repeats the words Our Savior shared with his disciples 2,000 years ago, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

How will Trevor’s story and the readings from today, inspire each of us?

Fr. George Mc Kenna

February 9, 2017 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , ,


  1. Thank you Fr. McKenna. I hope one day to be a good Christian. I am working at it.

    Comment by Janet Hahn | February 9, 2017 | Reply

  2. Thank you again my dear friend, hope you are doing well.

    Comment by Anonymous | February 9, 2017 | Reply

  3. Again great story father! With your usual inspiration to give even if its just a smile, be the light like you have for all of your many years!

    Comment by Anonymous | February 10, 2017 | Reply

  4. Some great upbringing for a child to be that sensitive. You have such great stories to tell and inspire us.

    Comment by Gerry Ryan | February 10, 2017 | Reply

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