About

Pariosse St. Benoit is located in the southern peninsula of rural Haiti.  It is a short 59 miles from Port-au-Prince, but a long 5-hour drive up the mountains.  It is not on a map yet and it is bascially where two dirt roads intersect on a mountaintop.  St. Benoit is now on Google maps at coordinates: Latitude 18° 15' 00" N Longitude  73° 54' 00" W.   It is located in the Nippes Department of Haiti.  They are in the dioceses of Anse-a-Veau and Miragoane; Monsignor Wildor Pierre is the pastor, Bishop Pierre Dumas is the Ordinary. Cardnial Chibly Langlois (La Vallée, 29 November 1958) is a Haitian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He has been the bishop of Les Cayes since 15 August 2011, and president of Haiti’s Bishops’ Conference. Pope Francis announced that on 22 February 2014 he would elevate Langlois to the College of Cardinals.[3] Langlois is the very first Haitian selected for this rank and the only one among the new cardinals at the February 2014 consistory who was not an archbishop.

The partnership started in the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  In 2011 Archbishop Aymond reached out to the dioceses to request partnerships between New Orleans churches and churches in Haiti.  Fr. Ronnie Calkins responded and working the Catholic Relief Services we were paired with Monsignor Wildor Pierre of St. Benoit, Dessource, Haiti.  In 2011 we contacted Monsignor Wildor to assess his needs.  He stated that he simply needed to finish the roof of the church so the parishioners could worship in a safe and dry environment.  The church doubled as the elementary school and classes were often cancelled due to inclement weather.

After the initial funds were sent the repairs were done quickly.  He sent us pictures and an invitation to come to see the progress.  Our first trip was in 2012 and we were well pleased with the repairs.  They needed so much more than just a roof repair.  They needed everything.  They had no water, no electricity, no sanitation, food insecurity was high, it was common for children died before reaching the age of five and there was no proper school with certified teachers.  The community did what they could to provide for the children.  But since the parents had no education, how would it be possible for the children to receive a proper education.  The families with donkey's were the wealthy ones. Our hearts were lifted during the first visit and we have been back yearly.

 The progress is staggering.  As of 2019 they now have a beautiful church, a rectory with several rooms to accommodate seminarians, solar panels, a diesel generator, a truck purchase though grant.  A water well with an associated kiosk that everyone can access.  Micro nutrients for the children under five and pre natal vitamins.  The elementary school is humming along with certified teachers and there are now high school classes.  Their first high school graduating class was 2018.  Enrollment hovers around 500 students.  

The progress continues at St. Benoit.  This is the 2nd story of the rectory 2016:

Some of the chapels date back to 1889, yet the parish was officially established in 2009 upon the arrival of a new priest, Fr. Wildor Pierre.   After the January 2010 earthquake, the community swelled  when many came to escape the debris of Port-au-Prince. The area includes about 5,000 families, with 400 children in co-ed pre K-6th grade at the church primary school.   Besides the main church of St. Benoit (St. Benedict)  in Dessources, there are 6 chapels in the surrounding communities of this parish.  The chapels are St. Isadore, St. Francois Xavier in Giles, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Joseph, St. Peter and Paul and 4 habitations in Des Cayes, Giro, Bregue and Poulard.  They all sustained damage, and St. Francois Xavier was probably hit the hardest during the 2010 earthquake.  The only thing standing was the altar. The congregation worships under the makeshift roof of donated tarps. Below is a picture of St. Francois Xavier Chapel during Mass:

 
Above is St. Francois Xavier chapel in 2012.  See the completed chapel on our webpage.
The area suffered significant damage to crops and livestock during Isaac (September 2012) and  a detailed Caritas report documents 32 homes destroyed and 77 damaged.    Sandy (October 2012) gave them some more trouble, but the people of this area keep moving forward in faith.
To read more about Haiti and it's history click here