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This Past Year

A Christmas Message 2018

Here we are again. Thanksgiving is over, and we are on our way to Christmas. Now is the time to reflect on the blessings we have received this past year and to look on what our donations to ABC for Haiti have done.
Our focus has changed this past year from clean water to education. One of the items on our list was to start a trade school for welding. However, I am happy to announce there was no sense in inventing the wheel. We found a 2-year trade school in the area that had training in not only welding but auto mechanics and carpentry. With Father Filho’s recommendation we sent 9 men to the school. 3 from the parish and 2 from each of the chapels. The cost? Only $200 each. We couldn’t have set up one trade for that cost.
ABC for Haiti continues to provide teacher and administration salaries for the parish school. In addition, a new school started at the Chapel of Saint Gabriel of Cherival. Here we are also helping with teacher salaries. We also helped purchase blackboards and desks for the new school as well as a new outhouse facility for the children. Special donations provided the funds for Father Fitho to purchase land the school is located on, so he could apply for a grant to build a school building. Right now, they have a wooden framed, open walled structure with a roof we provided a couple of years ago.
We also continue to provide Father with a $1000 per month stipend to operate the parish and we provide tuition assistance for 50 children.
ABC for Haiti purchases products in Haiti for all our projects. We constantly keep in mind keeping Haitians employed, stimulating their economy.
We have been successful in keeping 95% or better of your dollar to helping Haiti. There is still much to be done along with maintaining current standards which is why it is so important for you to reflect on your situation and if you can please consider increasing your donation or sending us a onetime donation.

May God continue to Bless You and may you continue sharing with those in need.

Wishing you all a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year

Merry Christmas

We would like to wish all of a Very Merry and Blessed Christmas.

This has been another successful year thanks to your generous donations and unwavering support. We reduced our expenses by sending funds on a quarterly basis instead of monthly. Those funds covered expenses for the parish, school tuition, teacher & school staff salaries, and the salary for the sewing school instructor.

We are very excited about our end of year projects.  For the first time in our 7 year history we are able to not only help the parish but also all three of Father’s chapels. There is a trade school in Hinche that teaches welding, mechanics, and cabinet making.

Learning auto mechanics

We will sponsor 9 people; 3 from the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, 2 each from LaBeque, Cherival and Cour Cadichon. At $200 per person per year for a two year program you can’t beat the price. We will get a report on progress of the students at the end of year one. We will also be increasing our monthly stipend to provide for a fair wage for the teachers at LaBeque and for the teachers at the new school at Cherival.

You might recall 2 years ago the chapel at Cherival had a stick frame for the beginning of their church and school. Cherival prior to tin roof

We were able to provide a tin roof to give them some protection. We are happy to say the people of Cherival started an elementary school in the same structure. Conditions are primitive to be sure. To make things a little more school like we will be providing desks, blackboards and the all important outhouse.

School children at Cherival

All this is made possible because of your generosity. There are still a couple of weeks left in this year to make that last minute contribution. Don’t hesitate – Donate today. https://abcforhaiti.org/donate/

Merry Christmas from our families to yours!

Business as Usual

Although I have been lax in keeping up with the blogs I assure you that during this time we have been doing business as usual. Monies have continued to flow to the parish in support of the pastor, the teachers, and the sewing school.

However, things ended up slightly different than what I reported in my last blog. The well for LaBeque project was taken on by another Haitian group out of Florida.  We agreed to this realizing it would leave us funds for other community projects.  The sewing school resumed when Fr. Nova was able to find someone who could repair the sewing machines by combining two unusable machines to make one dependable machine and then adding a hand crafted work surface.  He was also able to acquire an experienced sewing instructor to teach the students.

Another major change this year has been a change in pastors. Father Nova, in obedience to his Bishop has agreed to come to the states and further his education so that once he receives his degree he may take on the day to day responsibilities of caring for the Diocesan University located just outside the grounds of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish.

Our new Pastor at Our Lady of the Rosary is Fr. Fitho Jean.  Father Fitho just recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of his priesthood on May 6, 2017.  Father has spent the last 4 years studying at the Pontifical Bible Institute, Rome.  He is the eldest of 4 children, has a sister who is a doctor, another sister in High School and his younger brother was tragically killed during the earthquake of 2010.

We are happy to welcome him to the parish. We have already begun discussing the needs of the people.

Thank you for your continued support and care of the poor in Haiti.  Business as Usual can only be maintained by your generous donations and continually adding new donors.  You are our best form of communication. Encourage your family and friends to sign up for a  $20 per month donation, that’s only 66 cents per day.  Most of us can afford that.  Remember 95% of your donation goes directly to support our programs.

God Bless

Art

Our Lady of the Rosary Parish-Haiti

Just back from my annual visit to Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Sapaterre and would like to combine the results of my visit with a reflection on this past year and what we have been able to accomplish.

As in the past this was a good visit, short but productive. Father and I had some time to chat about business and what he felt was needed in the parish and to discuss some situations that have arisen since my last visit.  I was able to spend time visiting the people in their homes.  There is an area directly across the street from the parish that I usually visit first and then as we make our way into Hinche, via foot because in Haiti we do as the Haitians do, we stop at just about every home on the way to say hello, see how they are doing and to take photos.

school kids goofing with Mr. Art

school kids goofing with Mr. Art

Then of course there are the school children, they’re always fun to goof around with.  Kids are kids no matter where you go.

Fr. Nova at All Saints - Mesa, AZ

Fr. Nova at All Saints – Mesa, AZ

  • 2016 started off with a visit from Father Nova to our organization in Mesa, Arizona. It was a very good visit. While here, Father con-celebrated Mass at our home parish of All Saints, donations were accepted after Mass and the parishioners of All Saints were very generous. We had a dinner with Haitian rice & beans, chicken, salad and Haitian Rum cake made with rum imported from Haiti for about 60 people. Our Men’s Ministry held a pancake breakfast and donated all their profit to ABC for Haiti, and our Knights of Columbus council 9485 donated 50% of their raffle proceeds to ABC for Haiti.
  • We have taken responsibility for keeping the parish school operating by supporting the income requirements of the 9 teachers, 1 principal, 1 secretary, 2 cleaning crew members and 3 cooking staff personnel.
  • We sponsor tuition for 50 children.
  • We have begun the long and tedious task of drilling a well for water as close as possible to the chapel school at LaBeque, this school has 400 children and no water nearby. The geological survey has been taken and we are waiting results. Once we have results we will decide where to drill and hopefully very soon there will be water for the community of LaBeque.
Fresh water and a smile, what a well will do

Fresh water and a smile, what a well will do

  • We continue to provide a monthly income for the parish to use as necessary.
  • We did have to temporarily discontinue the sewing school. The machines were not up to the job and we are searching for quality machines. As soon as we have them we will start up again. Unfortunately doing business in Haiti can be quite slow. As you can imagine it is very difficult for us to locate items like sewing machines in Haiti, and with Father being so far from Port-Au-Prince it is difficult for him to find the time to get there and when he does his time is taken up by a variety of tasks.

I try to keep these to one page so before I go I would just like to thank you for your support this past year and if you should by any chance need an additional tax write off, or you’re feeling a little more generous this time of year or you’re just so proud of what we have accomplished with your help we certainly would welcome anything more you can do. There is so much more to be done!  Oh! and wouldn’t you rather help someone other than Uncle Sam??

Click here to donate: http://abcforhaiti.org/one-time-donation/

Cholera in Haiti – Please Donate Today

Cholera Affects Our Lady of the Rosary

Cholera ward in makeshift hospital

Cholera ward in makeshift hospital

There have been so many news reports of late about the resurgence of Cholera in Haiti, I thought it might be a good time to answer a few basic questions about cholera and what is happening, not only in the headlines but in our little corner of Haiti, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish and its 3 chapels.

What is Cholera – an infectious and often fatal bacterial disease of the small intestine, typically contracted from infected water supplies and causing severe vomiting and diarrhea.

How is Cholera acquired?  Cholera infections are most commonly acquired from drinking water in which V.cholerae is found naturally or into which it has been introduced from the feces of an infected person.  Other common vehicles include contaminated fish and shellfish, produce or leftover cooked grains that have not been properly reheated.

Recent headlines are saying that the United Nations had played a role and admitted that they were partially responsible for the outbreak of Cholera in Haiti. Below, are just a few of the headlines over the past few weeks (click on headline for link to news article).

Dodging Accountability at the United Nations (The New York Times)

The U.N. has admitted that it played a role in the cholera outbreak in Haiti (ScienceAlert 8/21/16)

U.N. ran from role in Haiti’s cholera outbreak (Miami Herald 8/21/16)

Appeals court upholds U.N. immunity from Haiti cholera suit (Jamaica Gleaner 8/20/16)

United Nations drafts program to fight cholera in Haiti (Prensa Latina 8/19/16)

Cholera Bacteria

Cholera Bacteria

With all this said, there is still no real help or hope in Haiti. It has almost been 6 years and the people of Haiti are still struggling. Sources are calling the increase in cholera infections an outbreak; to me that’s still an epidemic. We are fighting hard, and everyone’s donations and help have been amazing. We currently have over 200 individual single buckets systems in place in the parish, we funded a purified water dispensing station on the parish grounds, and your donations and help has funded a six seater outhouse for the school with 2 hands cleansing stations.

At the chapel of LaBeque we are working on getting a well drilled to bring water to the community and especially the school there which has close to 400 children.  At the chapel of Kou Kadichon there are people who are getting sick with cholera, but, in Father’s words they are “receiving care”. I would like to see and encourage that your dollars create conditions in order to avoid cholera.

Father preaches not only the Gospels, but he teaches sanitation, keeping their home areas clean, washing their hands often. However, his tiny little church only holds so many at Mass and when he prays the Mass at the chapels, it is simply under an open sided, roofed gathering place, so only so many can attend.  The word is getting out about the need for sanitation and I’m sure when school starts up again it will be a main topic, but again, we have 2 chapels that have no school and no school instruction on sanitary conditions.

WE NEED YOUR HELP PLEASE! If you have donated, please consider once again donating to ABC for Haiti. All donations are needed and greatly appreciated! Here’s a list of our Immediate Needs:

Drill for a well – this will bring clean water to the community

Build Father a Church that has a roof

God bless you for your past contributions and we are blessed by your future ones.

 

 

 

Father Nova says “Thank You”

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Father Nova during his visit to All Saints Catholic Church, Mesa

 

Father Nova Garcon of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Sapaterre, Haiti says “Thank You”.

During the weekend of January 9 and 10 Father Nova had the opportunity to concelebrate Mass at All Saints Catholic Church in Mesa, AZ.  At the end of Mass Father expressed his thanks to Father Caruso, the parish, and ABC for Haiti and to all who support our work in Haiti, specifically his parish of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Listen by clicking on the arrow and discover what “Thank You” in Haiti means:

 

May God continue to Bless you abundantly

Art

 

Novena to Our Lady

 

Our Lady of the Rosary Ladies Choir

Our Lady of the Rosary Ladies Choir

Cour Cadichon Children

Children of Cour Cadichon Chapel

Dancing & Singing before the Lord

Dancing & Singing before the Lord

Missionaries Choir

Missionaries Children’s Choir

Missionaries Choir

Missionaries Children’s Choir

Feast Day offering of rice, fruits and vegetables to be used for the Feast Day Celebration

Feast Day offering of rice, fruits and vegetables to be used for the Feast Day Celebration

Feast Day offering of Cash

Feast Day offering of Cash

 

The Novena to Our Lady of the Rosary continues as it enters day 8.  Just wanted to take a few moments to share with you some photos Father Nova sent.  The prayerful celebrations are shared by the entire Diocese and as I mentioned in my initial blog there would be nine priests, one for celebrating each day of the Novena.  Also there are groups from around and within the parish sharing their talents with their brothers and sisters at Our Lady of the Rosary.

As you can see in the photos, the women’s choir of the parish has been singing their praises, the children of the chapel at Cour Cadichon dance before the altar of the Lord, and the Missionaries choir has sung their praises all in honor of “Notre Dam Nan Kolye A” and in preparation for the big feast day celebration this Wednesday, October 7.

On Sunday Oct 4 the members of the parish, during the offertory of the Mass bring their offerings, of rice, beans, vegetables, fruits and animals and cash to be used for the feast day celebration.

I pray that you, along with team ABC for Haiti have been able to remember them in prayer these past 7 days and will continue to do so for the next couple of days.

The photos of the Missionaries Choir have a special significance and I will blog about them shortly after the feast day.

Two things to notice in the photos – one the size of their little church, the congregation will be inside and outside during the Feast Day, also notice the difference in the decorations, as the feast day nears they become a little more elaborate.  I tell you despite their condition they take much pride in their faith and make do with what they have to give glory to God.

God Bless all you do

Art

 

It’s That Time of Year Again

Attention

Line Up – Remember when?

Preparing for Mass

Preparing for Mass

Heading home

New Back Packs for everyone

New coat of paint at the parish school

New coat of paint at the parish school

New benches

New benches

It’s that time of year again, not only here in the U.S. but in Haiti as well. Summer is unofficially over and school is in session. September 7 marked the first day of school at LaBeque, a chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary.

This past week, September 14 marked the first day of school at the parish school, Our Lady of the Rosary, at Sapaterre.

Father Nova and I generally keep in touch on Sunday mornings and when I e-mailed him he was on his way to LaBeque to pray the Mass with the children for the start of their new school year. The pictures above are of the children of LaBeque in formation, getting ready for Mass in the church and wearing their new school backpacks. This year each of the children received a backpack, donated from another charitable organization. The children were very happy to have them and Father Nova was very happy for them, as are we. All total between LaBeque and Our Lady of the Rosary schools, 500 backpacks were given to the students.

Father was also able to arrange for a fresh coat of paint on the outside of the parish school, you might remember back in February this year myself along with Mike and Doug made a trip to Our Lady of the Rosary and along with several locals painted the inside of the class room, and with our help Father was able to replace 20 school benches with brand new ones.

While we are very happy for the start of school and the gifts given, it is not that time of year for the chapel at Chereval. We are a little saddened that we are still unable to start even a small school at Chereval. If you remember from previous blogs, when I visited them in February this year their only request was a school for their children. They know the way out of poverty is through education. They didn’t ask for money, they didn’t ask for clothing, not even food. All they wanted and still want is a place for their children to begin getting an education – a hand up, not a hand out.

Between the chapels of  Chereval and Cour Cadichon, there are probably another 300 plus children in need of an education. Wouldn’t it be nice next year to say It’s That Time of Year for Our Lady of the Rosary and all 3 of the chapels assigned to Father Nova?

With God’s Grace and your support all things are possible.

God Bless

Art

St. Mary Magdalene

IMG-20150719-WA0000 IMG-20150719-WA0001 IMG-20150719-WA0002 IMG-20150719-WA0003 IMG-20150719-WA0004July 22 is the feast of St. Mary Magdalene in the church calendar and is/was celebrated at the chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary known as Cour Cadicon on July 22. However, because Cour Cadicon is a chapel and difficult to get to on a regular basis by Fr. Nova, it was celebrated this past Sunday. St. Mary Magdalene was the first to discover the empty tomb and experience the Risen Christ.

Feast day celebrations are always, in Haiti, a festive event and combined with the festivities of St. Mary Magdalene, Fr. Nova had the privilege of celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism for 40 people, young and old and later in the day, celebrating the First Holy Communion of 30 people. I am always amazed at the approach to the Sacraments in Haiti. Despite the poverty everyone from participants in the Sacraments to family members go all out to present themselves to the Lord in their best attire, as evidenced by the photos. Lest you think they have the ability to afford such amenities, let me tell you most of the dresses and outfits for the boys are rented or borrowed. The parents clothing are probably the same the wear to Mass every Sunday. You see, in Haiti, the have one “special” set of clothing set aside and only used for Sunday Mass or very special occasions. They most certainly don’t have a closet full of clothes to choose from, as a matter of fact they don’t have closets in the modest homes.

I would like you to pay special attention to the church. It is only partially built, basically a stick frame, a roof, fortunately with a metal covering, and side slats, basically enough to provide some protection from the elements and you can’t see them but sawed tree trunks for seats. To decrease the exposure to the elements for this special event, tarps were erected. Remember, in Haiti this time of year the temps are in the 90s with 75+ humidity. I can attest to the fact that I would much rather deal with AZ heat and low humidity.

I know I end almost every blog with a plea for donations but when I see these conditions and think of the blessings we have. I can’t help it. Take a few minutes to contemplate your church, think about the beauty and comfort we are surrounded in and then think about how we take this for granted and maybe are lack luster in our faith. Then take a second look at the photos and think about the love of faith, despite their poverty and simplicity of their worship space the people of Haiti have.

Don’t you think they deserve the same as us? Don’t you think we have the ability, each of us to provide the support they need to make their life at least a little closer to the life we are blessed with?

Jesus tells us, the poor will be with us always. There is a reason for this and that reason is because we are called by Him to share our blessings with others. The poor are there for our benefit and salvation.

If you agree on this Feast Day of St. Mary Magdalene, send a contribution. There is so much to do and so little dollars – please – help.

Humanitarian Crisis in Haiti

hispaniola-tortuga[1]

Dominican Republic makes decision to deport Haitians

 

The government of the Dominican Republic which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti has decided to deport all Haitians and evidently other nationalities as well who are without the proper documents. Deportation may officially start as early as tomorrow July 7. Haitians have been serving in this nation for years as migrant workers, working in the sugar cane fields and performing jobs residents of the Dominican Republic have long since refused to do. Many of the Haitians have been living in the DR for years, bearing children, and grandchildren. These generations of children will literally be without a country, born in a country that does not recognize them and with no ties to Haiti.

The official deportation of these people may have not officially begun but there are already thousands who have made the trek back to Haiti only to find they have no home, food, or water and certainly no income. Many more families are living on the border in slum conditions not knowing what to do.

So the question might be how does this affect us and how does it affect Action By Christians for Haiti?

I received correspondence for Fr. Nova of Our Lady of the Rosary and he has informed me that parents are arriving at his parish doorstep in need of assistance in the way of food, shelter, and clothing. Apparently many of the children are staying behind on the border where they at least have something to eat and minimal shelter. The parents are begging for assistance. Father Nova tells me Caritas is helping slowly and Food for the Poor will also. I do need to tell you that Father Nova already receives some help from Caritas but it is not entirely free. The added burden will come at an additional price.

Since the earthquake of 2010 he has seen an influx of people who have settled in the area, putting a strain on his already meager resources. There is no telling how many of these displaced persons will settle in his parish.

So what am I asking of you today? 1. To stay informed, these situations never go smoothly or without violence. 2. Pray for these poor people – life is hard enough as it is and now it will only get worse, and not just for those being deported. The people who already live in Sapaterre and struggle daily will now have the added burden of sharing their meager subsistence with others as they begin to arrive. 3. Begin to consider how you can be of help. 4.  Crowded conditions in the area and improper sanitation could cause an outbreak in infection disease such as Cholera, which we have so far been able to keep at bay at Our Lady of the Rosary, not to mention the possibility of malnutrition among the children and elderly.  Our organization will be meeting next week and one of the topics will be this issue and what if anything we are able to do.

Please click on the links below and become informed. Also follow us on facebook where I will try to keep everyone informed and provide the latest news.

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/07/haitians-forced-from-dominican-republic-recall-racism-and-abuse/

http://www.liberationnews.org/haiti-far-ready-receive-deported-dominican-republic/

As always we give thanks and praise to God for your generosity.

 

Art Brouillard

President, ABC for Haiti

 

If you would like to comment please contact us at info@abcforhaiti.org