On June 13th 1985 St. Nicholas’s newly formed Haitian Outreach Ministry had its first gathering. Our parish has now been linked with St. Anne’s in Maissade, Haiti for 27 years. It is one of the oldest twinning relationships in the diocese of Richmond. That first meeting began with much enthusiasm and continues today as both St. Anne’s & St. Nicholas walk in solidarity with one another.

Haiti 3-17-11 014

Father Robert Michel attends to the needs of St. Anne’s Parish, four mission churches and a large primary school and a high school.

Fr. Robert

Recently Father Robert was able to get tagged on to a government grant to get some much needed, well overdue repairs done to the primary school. 

Under construction                School left

The students took classes outside under a temporary shelter and underneath a tree.

Children in uniformHaiti children

Father Robert hopes to one day get the funding needed to add a kitchen and dinning area to the school to offer a safer environment for the children to eat lunch as well as a gathering place for villagers.

In 2005 the idea for a Sustainable “Farm Project” in Maissade was born. It is currently being used as a production/training farm. St. Nicholas offered up the deed for the land in an effort to get a matching grant to kick off the project. The project is a joint effort between Virginia Tech., USAID, the diocese of Richmond and Caritas Hinche. To date a Storage Facility, a road to the farm, fencing around a portion of the farm and a tilapia pond has been completed.

View from schoolHaiti New school

The Haiti Twinning Committee currently supports the following projects in an effort to help out the children of St. Anne’s school.

On 10/20/12  five members of the Haiti Committee attended The Eastern Virginia Haiti Gathering at Holy Family Church in Virginia Beach.  The planning committee set a theme for the day which helped us reflect on three aspects of partnerships in our parish twinning relationship.  Patricia Britz presented reflections  on Partnership through Sustainability.  Jacki Friedsam presented reflections  on Partnership through Faith.  And Neil Walsh presented reflections on Partnership through Call to Service.  After each of the three reflections, parishes were called in alphabetical order to tell the group about the most significant accomplishment of their Twinning Ministry.  Nicole Karlins presented the accomplishments of our own Twinning Committee.  News from the Diocesan Committees rounded out the final part of the day.

Haiti gathering 2

 

The reflection on Partnership through Faith traced the historical understandings of faith from the early days of Church when faith was understood as trust in Jesus, to a later shift in focus to faith as ?credo?/or belief in Church truths.  There seems to be little doubt as to which faith understanding took hold and has prevailed over the years with the people of Haiti.  To this day the people of Haiti witness a profoundly rich faith in the risen Jesus and an understanding of a God who is always there for them through good times and bad times.  For them faith is beyond denominational purity.  Their faith rests in the arms of God .  A faith which trusts today and accepts tomorrow.  Their faith continues to inspire us at St. Nicholas and motivates us to work hard in our twinning work with them.


Haiti gathering

Haiti (1 photos)
St. Nicholas is twinned with St. Anne's in Maissade, Haiti.
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