The Haiti Committee, a subgroup of the Social Outreach Committee, is solely focused on developing relationships with the people of Fonds Baptiste, our sister parish in the mountains of Haiti, one of two countries occupying the island of Santo Domingo, in the Caribbean (the other country is the Dominican Republic). Many, but not all, of our members have visited the Immaculate Conception Parish.
The parish is accessible by dirt road only and requires either a motorcycle that has great maneuverability or a 4-wheel drive truck to travel there. The distance itself from Port au Prince is not that far, but the condition of the road into the mountains makes this a long, arduous journey for travelers. The location and road conditions also make it difficult to transport goods there and discourages tradesmen from traveling there for work.
Once in Fonds Baptiste, we are guests of the Immaculate Conception parish priest, Pere Gabriel. He is from a Haitian farming family and in his 2 year tenure has been responsible for significant improvements on the working farm that is an inherent part of the daily life of the parish. Several nieces and nephews have traveled with him from their home to the parish to keep the farm running smoothly while Pere Gabriel attends to other duties as pastor.
The parishioners of Church of the Holy Family have been beyond generous in supporting the Immaculate Conception Parish. During our visits to Fonds Baptiste, the priest, the parish council members and the parishioners of the parish have expressed their deep and abiding gratitude for our assistance. We, the members of the Haiti Committee echo that gratitude, because we have seen for ourselves the benefit of your donations, be they cash, supplies or prayers.
Despite the poverty that exists in Fonds Baptiste, the people there are warm and welcoming. We have seen firsthand a faith in God that is overwhelming and contagious. They are courageous and proud; it is truly our privilege to have traveled there and shared a tiny portion of their lives.
There is a Haitian saying that the heart can’t feel what the eyes don’t see. Please take the time to view the pictures of Fonds Baptiste, Port au Prince and the Haitian countryside posted here. Open your eyes and let the joy and faith of the Haitian people into your heart.
Please contact Mary Ellen Gonci for additional information or please join us at one of our monthly meetings which are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm following mass in the Cry Room at Church of the Holy Family. Thank you again for all that you, the parishioners of Holy Family, have done and will continue to do in the future.