Dear Supporters of our St. Rose Haiti Mission Ministry,
Our team has been busy over the past month prepping for two teams to go to Haiti in a few weeks. Fr. Andre has hired a new doctor for the Clinic. Her name is Dr. Jenny-Flore Tania. She began working November 1, 2017. She is from Cap-Haitien. He also hired another nurse to replace a nurse who moved. The new nurse is Antoine Bibiane Pierre. Yva Etienne is now Chief of the Nursing. The staff at the Clinic is once again complete.READ MORE
I greet you all with a humble heart because God has been so good to my parish. He has sent theHoly Spirit to allow you in your imagination to see the faces of the children as they gobble downtheir mid-morning meals. We know God's special love for all his family. We discover God's love forus because we experience your solidarity with the poor. These children experience real joy andreal dependence on God's graces. Thank you for your generosity and willingness to do somethingfor the poor of God's family. Your efforts will be repaid by God a hundred fold. May God bless youduring this holy season. May he fill your day with quiet preparation this Advent.
All Catholics worldwide begin the Season of Advent thisSunday. Our brothers and sisters, as do we, anticipate the coming to Christmas.But Fr. Andre calls them to remember the need to quiet their spirit and bewatchful over the next weeks. He writes that we can be impatient in everything.
We want to reach the end without delay of this watch-filled time. We areimpatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. Hecontinues to say that our missionary teams who will arrive in Robillard haveheard about the slow work of God in Haiti. The more experienced ones know iteven better and refrain from being critical of the slow work. He calls ourmissionaries, “blessed people”. He urges our new team members to reflect onMary and her patience in waiting for God to reveal His plan. And for those whosupport our Haiti Mission Ministry to review and reflect that God’s plan includesour sisters and brothers in Haiti. God’s plan includes the missionaries St. Rosesends to Robillard. The food the children eat each day at school is part of God’splan. All that St. Rose does to benefit the faithful in Robillard, he believes, is partof God’s work.
he discomfort of waiting and watching with patience. For God is the potter andwe are the clay.
Thank you all for your generosity this past month. We now have enough fundsto support feeding the school children through the end of January. We ask your prayers as volunteers prepare for their mission trip. The two leaders of our mission teams have been busy with all the details of theirtrips. Gloria Kane heads up the Medical Mission team. They will betraveling January 25-February 1. It is a good-sized team: Amy Cox, DianeRousseau, Alicia Russell, Catherine Viers, Robbie Webb, Enrique Martinez,José Castañeda and Trace Harris. Marla West heads up the Building HopeMission team: Mike Sheehan, Jean Harris, Sue Beernink and Mike Jones.Several projects are being planned: new concrete block house, painting 2 newclassrooms and stenciling classrooms. They also take pictures of all the schoolchildren. They plan to travel February 2-9. Thank you, volunteers, for takingtime away from your work and assuming all costs to serve God’s family in oursister parish NotreDame de la Merci.
Several years ago after a fulfilling mission trip to Haiti, we had a meeting to tackle any business at hand. Riding on that high crest of enthusiasm, it was hard to come down to the “valley” from the “mountaintop.” The best part of that moment is when someone remarked that our work in Robillard will never be completed in our lifetime. There was more to do. With smiles across our faces, we went forward. This week we revisit the realization that the fulfillment of God’s kingdom is “already, but not yet.” We are making significant progress to bring health to a community. We are educating children to be literate. We satisfy a spiritual hunger.
God uses our hands to heal and to build structures. And we answer the call to dispense our faith through our touch, smiles and eye contact. And you who support our Mission—those on the “frontlines”—you are providing the help that the missionaries need to serve the hungry, the stranger, those in need of clothing, the sick, and those imprisoned by poverty and ignorance. And they visit with these members of God’s family. In a sense, you are providing the banquet described in Luke 14:12-14--You invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind. And Jesus tells you:” Blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you; for, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." And we know from Fr. Andre that he prays for our parish each day at Mass and so do his parishioners. They pray in unison, “God bless you!”
Father Andre told us how much the people of Robillard, Haiti look forward to our mission team of nurses and doctors who come to serve them each year. Our arrival is one of great hope that God promises all his children. They see our smiles, soft words and gentle touches come from the Holy Spirit through "les Américains". Right now, our Medical Mission team leader Gloria Kane is looking for people interested in helping with in the Rose Merci Clinic. Medical education is not necessary because we need helpers, too. If you are interested in going, please respond NOW! The St Rose Medical Mission has been set for January 25 to February 1, 2018.READ MORE
Fr. Andre’s visit was such a gift to St. Rose. We want to thank all the parishioners for the warmwelcome. And, thank you for supporting our FUNDING THE FUTURE fund drive. Fr. Andreanticipates an enrollment of 400 children. Parents pay a tuition fee of $6 which goes towardsteacher salaries and maintenance of the school buildings. Parents are expected to provide schooluniforms which can be purchased in flea markets in Cap-Haitien. We used to have the sewingclass offer to make uniforms; but, the materials needed cost more than what is available in the fleamarkets. Our goal for FUNDING THE FUTURE is $10,000. Obviously, a $6 tuition fee doesn’tcover all the cost. But, Fr. Andre believes, and we agree, that when one pays for a service, it isviewed as more valuable than what is free. The average weekly income in Robillard is less than$3.00. Therefore, our donations to FUNDING THE FUTURE supplement the cost of educatingeach child. And, yes, there are children who are fully sponsored. Besides the uniform, each childmust wear underpants, socks and shoes. Some children come to school with mix-matched shoesor flip-flops.READ MORE
Haitians still consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to attend school, where in many other parts of the world, education is considered a human right. Families are often willing to sacrifice up to half their income to send their children to school. Haitian public schools have the capacity to serve only one quarter of the school-age population. Even before the earthquake, 25 percent of Haiti's school districts, mostly in rural areas, did not have a school. Robillard had a fine school that year thanks to St. Rose. And Fr. Andre began his assignment to Notre Dame Parish. Vocational Education Schools are practically oriented. The biggest category of vocational training is the Skill Training Centers which often do not require prior education. The vast majority of them are private, operating outside the control of the government. St. Rose supports such: Notre Dame de la Merci Vocational Center. There are two areas of skills young men and women learn-culinary arts and tailoring; a 2-year course of study and practicum. Sewing is done on treadle machines as no electricity exists in the building. Hand work is done in the doorways with bright sunlight. Training in design, creating patterns and tailoring is also practiced. Tuition is $200 per year.READ MORE
Less than 2% of Haitian school children pass the National Test at the end of grade 6. This is a reflection of the fact that the test is in French, which many children have not mastered. While listening and responding in French is used in some classrooms at Notre Dame de la Merci School in Robillard, the teacher may not be able to read and write well in French. Thus, students need more opportunities to master French by the 6th grade. Therefore, Fr. Andre has a summer school session that stresses acquisition of skills of reading and writing in French. Also, math skills are reviewed and practiced. Fr. Andre offers a meal to all those who come to summer school each day. Once that 2% of school children graduate from 6th grade, they move on to another private school or the public school in Robillard, A few take transportation to Cap-Haitien to enroll in a school. Imagine how few students graduate grade 12.READ MORE