Haiti Mission Trip 2018

Another successful mission trip was had April 4-10, 2018.

The progress at St. Benoit is astounding. When we started the ministry in 2012 we counted 50 students in elementary school.  What a wonderful experience to count 427 students from Pre-K to high school in class on Friday during our visit.  Many of the older students came up to us individually and thanked us in English for your support and giving them the opportunity of an education.  It is very heartwarming to see these students excited to attend school and succeed in their classes.

The elementary classes greeted us with a welcome song, mostly in English.  We spent time in each class room and Lynne and Maggie had prepared fun STEM lessons for each grade.  From coloring paper airplanes, using protractors to launching rockets the students really enjoyed it.

 

The elementary school is complete with the final plaster finishing and kitchen in operation.  They use a latrine outside and need some much needed toilets, but that will come in time.

 

The church was beautifully decorated for the children's mass on Friday and the Sunday rite of confirmation mass with Bishop Dumas.  There were 58 young adults confirmed on Sunday.

 

Monsignor Wildor is doing a wonderful job of leadership in the community. The construction hums along and all funds for projects are accounted for.  The second cistern was dug and cement was being poured during our visit.  The second floor dining room is in use and most all of the rooms on the second floor are complete.  The solar batteries were installed and the clinic enlarged.  The clinic serves about 100 patients a month.  We brought a small autoclave and many medicines the nurse had requested.

 

As a spiritual leader, Monsignor Wildor, not only creates disciples of his parishioners but leaders in the community.  There were two priests; Father Gary, Father Chandler and one seminarian during our visit.  Fr. Chandler surprised us during a homily in which he broke out in perfect English for us.  He also speaks Italian.  All of the lectors are students who are trained on how to formally address an audience.  Monsignors homilies are woven with spirituality and morality.  He is the moral compass of Dessource.  He married eight couples in December at a group wedding ceremony, and baptisms are held once a month.  The community is really coming together to support the parish.

 

The high school has seven grades and has certified teachers paid by the hour.  The facility needs water, a roof and a fence, but the kids come daily to class.  All of the students eat lunch in the cafeteria at the rectory building.  The lunch is a scant bean gravy and rice, but they are happy to receive it.  We learned that the rice he receives from Food For The Poor is now being rationed.  We found the very basic tools for school lacking such as paper, pencils, pens, geometry instruments, calculators and math tools for the elementary classes.

 

As the school has expanded the teacher salaries continue to be the largest expense.  Some live in the facility and most walk from nearby homes.  It is difficult to find certified teachers to live in the rural area of Dessources.  But by the grace of god, they come by foot.

 

From our ministry we have spun off other evangelization programs.  St. Dominic in Lakeview has adopted Mt. Carmel in Haiti.  St. Francis of Assisi, uptown NOLA has built the St. Francois Xavier Chapel in Giles, Haiti.  Karen & Tom Sheehy of The Healing Eyes of Mercy is sponsoring the first 6 students at the university level in Haiti.  The Pastorello family and private donors have built two homes on church property for the most needy.  Gregg and Letha Tepper and other parishioners have sponsored students education at St. Benoit and at the university level.  Thank you for all of your support.

 

A huge THANK YOU from the people of Dessource does not even cover the appreciation that they have for the parishioners of Mary, Queen of Peace.  We really do feel like we are home when we are with them.  Their warmth, grace and prayers are always with us.  

 

Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Travelers: Deacon Timothy, Tony Pastorello, Muguet Bolotte, Clay Drewes, Ida Estopinal, Lynne Young, Maggie Kurtz

 

 

Thank you to our sponsors for our Night in Haiti 2018

Partners in Hope

            Jill Dupont

            Anthony Pastorello

            The Healing Eyes of Mercy

 

Tuition Angels

            David & Paula Assaf

            Everett & Kay Bonner

            Dr. & Mrs. Richard Drude

            Chris & Cherie Erkel

            Suzanne & Bob Myers

            Dale & Janet Stram

            Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - NorthShore

            Northshore Mandeville Kiwanis Club

            J.R. “Rusty” Renaudin, Managing Director – Raymond James

 

Teacher Salary Angels

            Roy & Linda Bowes

            Bruce & Cheryl Gerhardt

            Cliff & Linda Giffin

            Ron & Peggy Hebert

            Clem & Mary Lescale

            Carolyn Massey

            Varney & Patricia Prejean

            Mary Ruli

            Sean Spoliansky

            Dale F. Oser, C.P.A.

            The Windsor Senior Living Community

 

In-kind Sponsors

            Abita Brewing Company

            Annadele’s Plantation

            DocuCenter

            Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum

            NOLA Apparel LLC