The Haiti Mission Program “twins” Catholic parishes in the United States with other parishes in underdeveloped countries. Twinned parishes support each other spiritually, socially, economically, and culturally. We began this ministry in 2014, when we became a twin parish with Notre Dame de Lourdes in Haiti.
For more information, contact Deacon Pat Blaney at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-290-5328.
Why a Parish Mission and Why the Haiti Mission Program?
By Deacon Pat Blaney
Why are we concerned as “Followers of Christ” with our foreign neighbors?
It is important for us as catholic Christians to have a globally oriented understanding of the Body of Christ. If we did not already have many programs of local assistance, that would be the first step, but we do. In reaching out to the poorest of the poor we are responding to Christ’s demand that we get out of our pews and limited mind set and go out into the world to be his hands and feet. In doing so we can experience Christ in a more concrete way that ends up evangelizing us. Pope Francis states:” A church that limits herself to administering parish work that lives enclosed within a community, experiences what someone in prison does: physical and mental atrophy."
History of involvement and why Notre Dame in Haiti?
I have been to Haiti many times for dental missions and I have seen the positive effects that the Parish Twinning Program has had in the Parish of St. Francis Xavier in Baudin, Haiti. It became a dream of mine, inspired by the Holy Spirit, to reproduce that success in an even poorer parish in Haiti. Father Mike expressed his desire for a foreign mission to help round out our Parish’s spirituality. We both chose Haiti because it is the most destitute country in the Western Hemisphere. It is also relatively inexpensive to travel there and finally because Fr. Isaac asked us for help.
Why the Parish Twinning Program format?
We chose the Parish Twinning Program format because it is a tried and effective program already in place that hundreds of Catholic Parishes already use. It is approved by the Catholic Church both here and in Haiti. It is a very forgiving and fluid program with no restrictions or hard and fast rules, only a lot of practical help and experienced support. Most of all it is the fastest way to a spiritual and cultural relationship with a willing Haitian Catholic Parish.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit, your death brought life to the world, so that all who would believe and live in you shall not die, but have eternal life.
We humbly submit ourselves to you, Lord: we are your loyal servants. We lay down our lives before you now, in total trust and complete surrender, to take up what is lacking in your body here on earth.
You have granted to us a parish family on the island nation of Haiti, bound to ours here at Holy Trinity in Westmont. May we respond openly with generous and loving hearts to share in their need; to live in mutual trust and affection; to learn from each other, so as to grow in the wisdom of your true riches and glory; and to become the stewards of your harvest as you intend.
May what you have started now, grow always and perpetually as a fragrant bouquet, reaching up to heaven to be shared with your angels and saints.
Let us thank you and praise you, Lord, for this singular grace and blessing of the people of Notre Dame de Lourdes in LaVoute.
Is our Helping Hurting?
I have written this paper partly to address the failures in my intercultural relationships and what I have done to correct them. I also want to make sure anyone wanting to help with our twinning program understands the possible damage that a program that is not rooted in Justice can do to the people we are trying to help. This applies to the people on a mission and in direct contact with Holy Trinity’s Haitian brothers and sisters, or to people who are helping with the planning or administration of the twinning program and may never visit a third world country. It is important that everyone be on the same page when it comes to a philosophy of helping.
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Daily Mass - Mon-Sat: 8:00am
Confession - Sat: 2:45 - 3:45pm
Holy Trinity Catholic Parish
25 East Richmond Street
Westmont, IL 60559