Each year, Holy Family Parish and their Mission Haiti program organize several delegations for parishioners and other persons interesting in becoming involved and helping Haiti. A group of 7 travelers, led by Mission Haiti’s Karl Holtsnider visited Hands Together and its projects from February 3 – February 6th. “We are really blessed to have our partnership with Holy Family,” says Doug Campbell. “It began in 2006 when Monsignor Clem Connolly and Karl Holtsnider looked us up after reading about Fr. Tom Hagan in the Christian Science Monitor. Since then, Holy Family has sponsored over a dozen delegations and donated over 2.6 million to help fund our many projects. It’s just a remarkable parish and they attract people from all over who want to help the poor, “ says Campbell.
“One of the great things about delegations like this, is they help people discover how they can use their own God-given talents to help Hands Together. Many people offer to do mission talks at parishes, others have organized fund raisers, or collected supplies; there are really lots of ways a delegation participant can use this experience as way to become more involved in our Mission Church,” says Doug Campbell.
The delegation arrived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on February 3rd and spent some time getting to know Fr. Hagan at the Hands Together Delmas headquarters. They visited some of our Becky DeWine schools and spent time meeting our students and got a tour of our new kitchens. Afterwards they helped out at our elderly feeding program and saw the streets of Cite Soleil. They saw the mud pies the women made in streets and met with the Sisters of Mercy and helped in the orphanage caring for the the children. Then they went to Radio Boukman that teaches radio and broadcasting skills in the slums.
The next day they went to St. Francis de Sales high school and talked with the students about life in Cite Soleil and they're continuing education. Afterwards they took the long drive to Gonaives where they saw the progress of the Clarke Farm and a tour of our new green house. Once at the Gonaives headquarters Fr. Hutton celebrated mass on the roof with a stunning view of the mountains in Gonaives.
The next day they toured our well drilling operation and saw the large irrigation system built for the farmers. They learned about our briquette program that recycles trash and presses it into charcoal briquettes used for the stoves at our schools.
Upon returning to Port-au-Prince and saw the destruction still remaining from the 2010 earthquake and the broken Cathedral downtown. Then they met quickly for prayer with Fr. Tom before heading to the airport for the trip home.
The delegation participants:
Fr. Leon Hutton
Former associate pastor at Holy Family. Professor of church history at St. John Major Seminary at Camarillo, Calfiornia. Fr. Leon may become a priest minister for Holy Family. Fr. Leon will explore bringing seminarians to Haiti.
Deacon Dale Sheckler
Deacon at St. Lawrence Martyr church in Redondo Beach. Dale became interested in a mission trip to Haiti after meeting Karl Holtsnider at the Religious Education congress in Anaheim. We are grateful to Dale for offering to help as a weekend speaker for Mission Co-op.
Professional film maker. Director. Producer. Cinema-photographer. Dedicated Catholic. Line producer for Good Morning America, ABC. Anxious to explore film possibilities. Joseph will plans to help with Mission talks and producing a few small videos on HT projects.
CEO of Sealmaster and holds the Sealmaster franchise for all or at least part of North Carolina. Bob conducts training for small business development and has offered help us look into starting some small business projects for people in Cite Soleil and recent HT Becky DeWine School graduates.
Hayward has extensive experience drilling wells and building schools in India and Russia. He no longer is pursuing those efforts and is looking to do similar work in Haiti.
Evan Sieler, Nephew to Bob Krebs
Karl Holtsnider, Mission Haiti Coordnator
Please visit our photo album of the trip.