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Champagnat’s dream on Haitian soil

 

25th anniversary of the Marist presence in Haiti

06/10/2010: Haiti
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« Unless the Lord build the house, the builders work in vain » (Ps 126). It is now 25 years that we have been building, with the help of God, Champagnat’s dream on Haitian soil. We already feel full of hope and filled with blessings. A large number of Haitians recall the boldness of the first five Canadian Brothers: Gérald Gatien, Gilles Lacasse, Daniel Cournoyer, Gilles Hogues and Marcel Labarre who, leaving their land, ventured into the unknown of the mission of Haiti.The Marist foundation started at Dame-Marie, where we now have a primary school and a secondary school going as far as ‘terminale’ (philosophy). The sowing has borne its fruits and we now have two other centres of apostolate: a secondary school up to school-leaving certificate at Latibolière and a postulancy at Jérémie. As part of those fruits, we can also mention our former students working in the public services, the many priests and the young Brothers who are now the hope of Marist Haiti.This anniversary celebration was magnificently enhanced by the visit of Brothers Emili Turú, Superior General, Manuel Franco, Vice-Provincial of the Province of « México Occidental », to which Haiti has belonged since January 2008, and Clément Rondeau, a Canadian who has devoted many years of his life to the mission of Haiti. The Superior General and the Vice-Provincial visited our three communities, beginning with the postulancy at Jérémie. The following day, they went to Latibolière, where they took part in the meeting of the teachers of our school « Alexandre Dumas » and shared some time with the Brothers of the community.The day after, they left very early for Dame-Marie, where they took part in the meeting of the teachers from our schools « Notre-Dame de Fatima » and « Notre-Dame de la Nativité ». At the latter, they inaugurated the new buildings. Brother Superior General presented certificates of thanks to several teachers and workers who have given 10 to 25 years of service to our works. In the afternoon, Br. Emili met all the Brothers and young people in formation of the sector to share a convivial supper. The employees of our communities (cooks, ground staff, housekeepers…) were also invited to this great festive occasion and they all received certificates of recognition for the number of years of service rendered to our local communities.Next morning, a thnksgiving Mass was celebrated at Dame-Marie, with some of our students and former students in attendance. At midday, we savoured dishes of Haitian gastronomy offered by the former students and parents of our young Brothers, novices, postulants and aspirants. In the afternoon, Br Emili met with the Brothers and future novices of the sector to discuss our Marist situation, our hopes, and our challenges as a sector. Finally, after supper, the Brothers from our other works and overseas returned to their communities.We offer a great thank you to the Lord for having given us this opportunity to discover a Marist life full of hope, and to see the realisation of Marcellin Champagnat’s dream in Haiti. We, the Mexican and Haitian Brothers, feel proud to have received such a beautiful inheritance from you, our Canadian Brothers.Haití Marista

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