Home » The Catholic Free Press, Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester – St. Gabriel to support its Haiti twin

The Catholic Free Press, Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester – St. Gabriel to support its Haiti twin

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By Invoice Doyle  | CFP Correspondent 

Father Laurence V. Brault was devastated when a 7.2 magnitude earthquake severely broken the Haitian parish that his Upton church, St. Gabriel the Archangel, helps. 

The rectory at St. Anne Parish in La Sucrerie Henry was demolished on Aug. 14 so Father Joseph Didier, the pastor, has been pressured to sleep within the rectory automobile. Many different parish buildings sustained main injury, however they haven’t collapsed. Judging by images despatched by Father Didier, Father Brault believes the church and the a number of college buildings for youngsters from pre-kindergarten by means of twelfth grade could also be salvaged, however repairs might be pricey. Father Brault has not seen images of the clinic and an adjoining housing unit for medical personnel so he’s unsure how broken they’re. 

“I’m shocked by what I’ve seen and what I’ve heard,” he stated. “I’m deeply saddened.” 

St. Gabriel has remained updated with Father Didier by means of textual content messages and e mail.  

As of Sunday, 2,207 Haitians have been confirmed lifeless, 344 have been nonetheless lacking and 12,268 have been injured, and practically 53,000 houses have been destroyed by the earthquake. Tropical Storm Grace flooded the area two days after the earthquake. 

The earthquake’s epicenter was nearly a direct hit to St. Gabriel’s twin parish in La Sucrerie Henry so Father Brault is grateful that he hasn’t heard of any deaths in St. Anne Parish. He was knowledgeable {that a} youngster survived after being pulled from the rectory’s rubble.  

Father Brault’s parishioners have twinned with St. Anne for greater than 20 years, first when he was pastor at Holy Angels Parish in Upton and for the previous decade after Holy Angels merged with St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Mendon to kind St. Gabriel the Archangel. Father Brault has visited Haiti about half a dozen instances and as lately as 2018. 

Father Brault stated most Haitians are too afraid to return to what stays of their houses because the earthquake, so that they’re dwelling underneath tent tops with no sides.  

“It breaks my coronary heart,” Father Brault stated. 

As troubled as he’s by the structural injury to the buildings, Father Brault is much more haunted by the toll the earthquake has taken on the beleaguered Haitian individuals. 

“It was a traumatic expertise seeing the faces of those individuals who I’ve actually come to know and love,” he stated. “The fear and the shock and the disbelief and the concern and the grief that’s on these faces. I discover myself, in my very own prayer life, asking God how all of this could occur to a individuals who have been so extremely disadvantaged of a lot that we’ve right here, and definitely among the many poorest of the poor, how they once more can have even that taken away. It shakes one’s religion.” 

Father Brault’s religion could also be shaken, but it surely’s nonetheless robust. He and his parishioners are decided to do no matter they will to assist St. Anne rebuild. Throughout Mass final Sunday, he advised his parishioners that God was calling on them to a response that was boundless within the degree of charity. 

“So I actually imagine that even within the midst of this nice tragedy,” Father Brault stated, “God is current. I can’t inform you how, however I do imagine that God is current and that God is asking us to once more reply.” 

St. Gabriel has responded an important deal over time. Along with donating $1,000 a month to St. Anne, St. Gabriel makes annual contributions of $4,000 for college kids, $2,000 for instructor salaries, and $6,000 to $9,000 for faculties related to the chapels. Together with particular requests, the church has contributed about $20,000 to $25,000 every of the previous a number of years, Father Brault stated. 

St. Gabriel helped restore and preserve St. Anne’s buildings so that they could possibly be used at full capability, and financed the development of two chapels. 

Two weeks earlier than the earthquake, St. Gabriel despatched a $25,000 donation which was made to its Legacy of Hope marketing campaign with the request that it fund repairs on the St. Anne parish heart. 

As well as, the parish plans to earmark $30,000 of the $32,000 in its Haitian account to assist St. Anne rebuild and to fund the various instant medical, housing, meals, and sanitation wants of St. Anne Parish. 

 “Our first concern is to attempt to assist the pastor discover one thing that he can dwell in so he’s not dwelling in his automobile,” Father Brault stated. 

Often, St. Gabriel raises about $6,000 in change in bottles every fall for the homeless, however Father Brault plans to place that attraction on maintain so the parish can give attention to serving to St. Anne rebuild. 

Father Brault stated the parish has already begun receiving donations within the mail for Haiti aid and the parish’s Haitian committee will plan additional fund-raising. St. Gabriel will conduct the primary of a number of particular collections for Haiti on Sunday. 

To donate to St. Gabriel’s Haitian aid marketing campaign, ship checks made out to St. Gabriel, with “Haiti” within the memo line, to St. Gabriel Church, 151 Mendon St., Upton, MA 01568 or go to: https://giving.parishsoft.com/app/Giving/stgabrielgiving. All donations will go on to St. Anne Parish. 

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