Editor: This is a report recently sent to the parishioners of Our Lady of the Cape Parish in Brewster, MA., outlining their longstanding support of the poor in Haiti and the ongoing needs of the poorest of the poor.
Written by Fr. William Kaliyadan, M.S.
Category: La Salette The Americas
Fr. William Kaliyadan, M.S. (front, center) with Pastor (last row) after Mass with school children
I just returned from a visit to our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ whom we at Our Lady of the Cape Parish in Brewster, Massachusetts – staffed as we are by the La Salette Missionaries – have been committed to serving for the past twenty-three years. I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to share with you my thoughts and impressions from my time there, and update you regarding the progress being made.
First of all, in order to understand the setting for our ministry in Haiti, author Scott Hortop
has written that:
“Haiti is a country steeped in centuries of cultural fear and mistrust. Although an independent republic since1806, Haitians have yet to experience the trust that enables productivity through cooperation. A study of Haitian society reveals a difficulty with management, a difficulty with administration, a difficulty to work in any situation that requires cooperation, a difficulty in trusting: a difficulty but not an inability.” (FIDA)
Establishing A Model of Collaboration
Map of West Central Haiti and some of our mission towns indicated
Our parish of Our Lady of the Cape has always approached these cultural challenges in Haiti, using a cooperative model based on faith and charity. Over time and with great patience, prayer and fraternity, this model has been fruitful. Through consistency, sincerity and transparency, we have experienced genuine care for each other, as well as accountability. Through our collaborative Christian relationship, we have become even more aware that we are the “keepers “of our brothers and sisters. During my recent week in Haiti, I grew in appreciation of this relationship in a very genuine way.
St. Claire Parish in Dessalines
Fr. Robinson Alexis, pastor, and his parishioners extended a warm welcome to Fr. Joe Gosselin M.S. (a retired, enthusiastic La Salette who spends three months a year in Haiti doing missionary work), Fr. Thomas Vellappillil, director of the La Salette North American Mission Office in St. Louis, and myself.
Parishioners thanked us for our recent help with a new sound system, new electric fans for the parish church and the replacement of a damaged part of the rectory roof. They were also grateful for our financial support to the four seminarians from their parish who are now pursuing their studies for the priesthood.
Read more: A Pastoral Visit to Haiti