Thirty years ago, Monsignor Bierster made a commitment of prayers and financial help to St. Joan of Arc School in Tarasse, Haiti. This school is part of Our Lady of Lourdes parish. Successive pastors have faithfully supported this school in Haiti. But it was only this past August that the Pastoral Council of the parish officially (and unanimously) sanctioned Our Lady of Lourdes parish as our “sister-parish”. The money we send each year ($20,000) pays for the salaries of ALL the teachers at the school and also provides a meal (usually of rice and beans) to the children of the school three times a week. (Can you imagine doing all of that in the United States for $20,000!) But after being there and seeing the real poverty AND the real Christian joy in the lives of these, our brothers and sisters, I know that we can do more! There are many needs and it could possibly be overwhelming but if we simply take one step at a time we will be able to truly BE PART OF A NOBLE CAUSE! This is how we will start:
• Organize a HAITI COMMITTEE of concerned St. Joan of Arc parishioners whose hearts are moved with compassion to help. I will authorize this committee to do fundraisers and to make our
parishioners aware of the many needs.
• Initiate a SECOND COLLECTION once a year to provide additional funds to our sister-parish. (I think a good time to take up the collection would be the Ash Wednesday Collection to connect our giving with the Season of Lent.)
• Pray for the SPECIFIC NEEDS of the parish in Haiti. I have already asked Father Mario, the pastor, to provide me with monthly intercessions from Our Lady of Lourdes and I will provide intercessions to him from St. Joan of Arc.
Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? But, of course, I want us to be creative and think of ways for us to come to know - and not just help - the good people of Haiti. We can learn from them and vice versa. I am excited about our future with Our Lady of Lourdes Parish and St. Joan of Arc School. Won’t you share my excitement? God bless and thank you in advance for the great things we will do together!
Subscribe to our blog today so you do not miss any parish news!