Since the devastating earthquake of 2010, Haiti Pax Christi has been providing help and relief to the people of Haiti with various initiatives over the years. Each Lent, our parishioners donate to a specific major project. Some of the previous projects have included a new chapel for the community of Joly, a new roof for St. Joseph’s Church in L’Asile, and a new parish for the parishioners in Cocoye du Chene.
This year, the Lenten project will support the construction of a new church, St. Michael the Archangel, in Pigney. Currently, the community has been using a temporary structure made from debris to celebrate Mass. The estimated cost to complete the project is around $15,000.
“The whole church is decimated, we’re hoping to be able to build them a new one,” says Kanna McGuire.
In addition to the annual Lenten campaign, Haiti Pax Christi also coordinates a student sponsorship program and supports projects year-round with the General Haiti Fund.
Haiti Pax Christi works in collaboration with a nonprofit charity based in New York called From Here to Haiti, an organization that “has completed over 50 projects, provided temporary employment to hundreds of Haitians, and improved the lives of thousands of children,” according to their website. They work locally with the Haitians to help support their quality of life.
Kanna and her husband Patrick have been to Haiti multiple times, making their first trip in the early 2000s when their nephew and his wife were working with a medical mission through St. Boniface. Initially, Kanna and Patrick inquired about how to support the mission financially but were asked if they would like to go in person. They agreed, and off they went.
“Our families went together at Christmas to build a house,” Kanna says.
In the years that followed, Kanna and Patrick brought awareness back to Pax Christi regarding relief efforts for Haiti, and for a few years, Pax Christi partnered with a cathedral in Anse-a-Veau and some of the priests there. But since 2010, Haiti Pax Christi has worked exclusively with From Here to Haiti. Kanna went to Haiti in 2010 after the earthquake and after that, Haiti Pax Christi was established.
“We took our first mission trip there in October following the earthquake in January,” Kanna says. “We came back and started with 12 students that were all preschoolers going to St. Joseph’s School and we’re up to 68 students that are sponsored through the sponsorship program now. We’ve been successfully working with From Here to Haiti throughout the years.”
Parishioners may donate to this year’s Lenten Cup Campaign online or put money into the Lenten cups or envelopes distributed after Mass. There is also a QR code included to simplify online donations.
For more information about Haiti Pax Christi or to make a donation, please visit paxchristi.org/service/haiti-pax-christi, contact Kanna McGuire by calling 303-229-7040, or visit https://paxchristi.org/service/haiti-pax-christi