The St. Gabriel Haiti Committee was pleased to host Pere Didier, pastor of St. Anne, our twin parish in Sucrerie-Henry, Haiti over the weekend of April 24. This visit provided the committee with an opportunity to meet with Pere Didier first-hand to discuss the progress of rebuilding from the August 14 earthquake, which wrought devastation and destruction throughout the parish, including the church, clinic, school, rectory, outlying chapels, and the homes of most of the parishioners.
To meet in person with the invaluable translation from Haitian Creole to English by Verienne and Rodrigue Emile enabled us to fully understand the steps that have been taken since the earthquake, from demolition of the ruins to the in-progress rebuilding of the rectory, and the efforts Pere Didier has made to seek help from non-government organizations, with which he has met with some success. Please read the statement below, which was delivered by Père Didier to the congregation on Sunday, April 24.
Reverend Father Larry, Members of the Haiti Committee, Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ –
Today again, I am really happy to be with you at the Saint Gabriel Parish. My presence here this year translates the unbreakable link, love and attachment that exist between these two parishes. As a result, I would like to say thank you to the Lord for His many graces. I want to repeat something that I had said during my last visit here: what the soul is for the body is Saint Gabriel parish for the Saint Anne parish in Sucrerie-Henry. You have demonstrated this over and over both in good and bad time. Through your prayers and your help, you showed how much you love the Haitian people especially Sucrerie-Henry parishioners.
Despite COVID-19 that puts the world on his knees you always kept your promise. Your love for us is incomparable. Haiti is one of the countries that suffers from many natural disasters. The last was the earthquake of August 14 which completely destroyed the parish. Rectory, schools, church, clinic were all affected and most of them are beyond repair. Currently masses and clinic services are done under temporary tents. Secondary and primary schools are held together in the same temporary building. The grades are separated by the black board.
As the pastor of the parish, I did my best and reached out to many non-profit organizations such as Unicef, Food for the Poor, OIM, Rotary and CRS. CRS, UNICEF, and Food for the Poor have promised to help us with the rebuilding of schools and clinic. But there is no guarantee that they will fulfill their promise (keep us in your prayers). Five employees and I are currently sleeping in tents.
The Diocese of Les Cayes is building a small house (just 2 bedrooms, 1 kitchen and 1 bathroom), so that will help. So far, we have no help for the reconstruction of the church.
I am aware that St Gabriel has and will continue to organize fund raising activities to help us rebuild the parish. I will encourage you to continue participating in these various activities. God will reward you hundred times more.
On behalf of the diocese of Les Cayes, the Ste Anne parishioners and myself, I thank you all. Vive Sainte Gabriel parish. Vive Sainte Anne Parish. May God continue to bless the friendship forever. Thank you so much and I love you all.
Despite the immense obstacles they continue to face, the St. Anne congregation was able to celebrate a joyous Easter with exuberance in the temporary tent structure. Video courtesy of Pere Didier:
Local supporters – join us for a Trivia Night fundraiser on May 26 from 7-9pm at Willowbrook Restaurant in Mendon. Bring a team of four or sign up a an individual and we’ll place you on a team. Register here
Thank you to all who have supported and continue to support our ministry. For more information, please visit: https://wp.me/P2Ba5w-2Zr
SE POU BONDYE GENI AK PROTEJE TOUT PEP AYISYEN (May God bless and protect the people of Haiti)