“Development cannot be reduced to mere economic growth: it must include the moral and spiritual dimensions. At the same time, an authentic and integral humanism can only consist of solidarity, and solidarity is one of the loftiest expressions of the human spirit; it is one of the natural duties of the human being, applicable to both individuals and peoples; the full development of peace depends on the implementation of this duty.” [Pope Benedict XVI, 2008]
A student at a primary school in Pandiassou that we support (photo credit – Linda Hexter)
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Director of new nursing program gives thanks for generous donations from Church of the Incarnation have allowed 25 women to attend a nursing school.
Our Twinning Partnership
Since the 1990s, the Church of the Incarnation has participated in the Diocese of Richmond’s Haiti Twinning Program through our partnership with the Petits Fréres et Petites Sœurs de l’Incarnation (Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Incarnation), an order of religious men and women working to “become one with the peasants”–that is, the poor and marginalized living in six dioceses of Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, and one in the Dominican Republic. The order, led by Br. Franklin Armand and Sr. Emmanuelle Victor, seeks to improve conditions among Haiti’s poor by being “salt and light” for the world–that is, servants in Christ and for Christ.
According to the Little Brothers and Little Sisters, “Haiti is like the reed which bends in the wind but does not break. It shows to the world once again the historic strength of the poor. The poor, the blessed of God, are a sacrament of the saving and liberating power of God, a sacrament of God’s justice (which is to say, God’s mercy for all people), and a sign of God’s forgiveness and non-violence. Haiti knows how much it is loved and cherished by God precisely because it is one of the poorest countries on earth. Its poverty is its richness. Haiti knows it is loved and cherished by a Father who would never abandon His children.” (This youtube video, produced by a different organization working with the Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Incarnation as well, shows some of the work that the order undertakes as a response to their call to live among and serve the poor in the name of Christ. Incarnation supports many similar programs in the area.)
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The Church of the Incarnation works mainly with the order’s projects in Pandiassou, a locality of about 20,000 inhabitants three miles south of the city of Hinche on the Central Plateau of Haiti. Our main goals are:
- Building relationships with our brothers and sisters in Pandiassou and outlying areas through solidarity, prayer, education, and awareness
- Visiting the Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Incarnation regularly to foster relationships and to determine where our parish can assist
- Providing ongoing support for programs that are both charity-based (i.e. children’s lunch feeding program) and justice-based (i.e. a maternal health clinic staffed by Haitian doctors, learning how to obtain safe drinking water)
- Gaining a stronger sense of global solidarity and a firmer grasp of the one universal Catholic church of which we are a part
- Recognizing the mutual nature of our relationship–that it is not just about what we can provide but also about what we can learn and gain from the lives of our Haitian brothers and sisters
Hiking to the rural school we support (photo credit – Linda Hexter)
Past and current projects include the following. We are currently looking into other needs that we can help to address, keeping in mind the idea of sustainable development, whereby the goals of all projects are for them to come from within and to evolve to a place of sustainability without outside support. While much has been achieved, our prayers and help are still greatly needed to continue raising the quality of life for the majority in Haiti.
- Construction of a butchery so farmers could process livestock locally
- Construction of two primary schools, as well as contribution of school supplies
- Financial contribution to teachers’ salaries
- Employment opportunities through short-term construction projects
- Construction of a medical clinic (Klinik Lenkanasyon)
- Financial contribution to the salaries of a doctor and a nurse for the clinic
- Donations of medical supplies
- Financial contribution to the Tipa Tipa School feeding program
- Construction of a maternal health clinic
Students at the primary school in Pandiassou that we support