Since 2015, St. Peter’s has been blessed to have a sister parish relationship with Our Lady of the Assumption in Haiti. On Oct. 20, their pastor, Fr. Delix Michel, came for his annual visit here at St. Peter Church. Fr. Michel spent the weekend visiting our parish and school families, and while he was here, we were blessed with the opportunity to sit down and chat.
Just speaking with Fr. Michel, his gratitude is evident. It pours forth from his words as he explains the many ways St. Peter parishioners have helped his people.
“First and foremost, there is a spiritual bond between the two parishes,” Fr. Michel says. “We pray for one another, and that is an invisible bond that is stronger than we can imagine.”
Yet, as he continues expressing his gratitude for the many ways St. Peter parishioners have helped through the years, Fr. Michel insists that the help we offer them is invaluable.
“Your support is vital for my parish,” he says. “You are helping people you don’t even know, and that is a witness of Jesus. It is a response to the Gospel. In addition to helping my people with their needs, your support helps me as a priest to understand the beauty of love and solidarity. Witnessing you helping the people of my parishes has strengthened my faith in the Lord who is always there for us.”
Reinforcing his words of gratitude, Fr. Michel points to the many concrete ways that our financial contributions have helped his parishioners over the years.
“We were able to build a whole new mission church up in the mountains,” he says. “The one that existed was dilapidated and needed to be torn down. Your help allowed us to tear it down and then build a new one! We now have a beautiful mission church named St. Leo — we named it in honor of Msgr. Leo. He has a great heart for the mission. Now, the church is one of the most beautiful mission churches in all of Haiti.”
What’s more, Fr. Michel says that because of St. Peter’s generosity, 29 of his parish families have received tuition assistance, enabling their children to attend school. With that in mind, Fr. Michel visited the children at St. Peter School and spoke with them about their impact.
“They collected money, and I wanted them to know that they are helping people,” Fr. Michel says. “I wanted to express my gratitude to them.”
And the children responded full of curiosity, asking Fr. Michel questions, like “What do the Haitian schools look like?” and “How are the houses built there?”
“They asked some beautiful questions,” Fr. Michel says. “The children are wonderful!”
Hearing from Fr. Michel firsthand was eye-opening for us. Even as we give of ourselves through financial gifts and prayer, it can become easy to distance ourselves from the needs of the people at Our Lady of the Assumption. Indeed, their needs are hard for us to comprehend. But Fr. Michel assured us that their needs are very real and very dire, and our assistance is invaluable to them!
What a blessing it is for us to serve in such a way!
“God is at work in the people of St. Peter,” Fr. Michel says. “The things in my parish are only the way they are because of the help of St. Peter. May God bless you for your kindness!”