During Advent, Brother Dennis Malloy, FSC, Visitor of the District of Eastern North America, asked each ministry to raise funds for the Saint John Baptist de La Salle School in Port-au- Prince, Haiti. Realizing our Advent commitment to Adopt-a-Family, the Lasallian Ministry Team and Campus Ministry asked to move our Haiti Solidarity Week to the week of January 20th with a special dress-down day for Haiti (Hands Out for Haiti) scheduled for Friday, 31 January, at the conclusion of our celebration of Catholic Schools Week. This year we celebrate that week with our special theme: “Enter to Learn—Leave to Serve.”
Brother Dennis wrote in his letter: The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 significantly deepened existing challenges and created massive reconstruction needs for a country that was already the poorest in our Hemisphere.
In response to this need, the Institute called for a worldwide collection (to which La Salle Academy contributed funds) that resulted in the initiation of an educational ministry that continues to develop. Such a school is not an alternative but creates the opportunity for an education where there would otherwise be none.
Opening October 2012 with one hundred students, the school has now doubled in size and serves over 200 youngsters from pre-K to 5th grade. Many of the children are from a nearby orphanage and several are HIV positive. Each year an additional grade will be added. It is envisioned that a vocational component will be added for the upper school years, and ground was broken this past June for a Mother-Child health and wellness center largely funded by the District of South Mexico.
Consistent with our District Vision and Action Plan for Ministry to partner with Lasallian ministries overseas, the District has already sponsored delegations from La Salle University and Manhattan College to look at ways in which their expertise in education, engineering, public health, and nursing can help to build up this developing ministry. Mission trips for students are in the planning stages for the future.
The needs for which we are asking your support at this time are to insure that these youngsters have a meal at school, basic classroom supplies, and school uniforms such as you can see in this video.
Thank you for all that you do and for your consideration of this opportunity to make a real difference for our very poorest neighbors, and to have a stake in the future of their school!
Live Jesus in our hearts!
Brother Dennis Malloy, FSC
How could one’s heart not be touched by the smiles of these children for whom life now holds some promise! The ministry of Saint John Baptist de La Salle and his Lasallian followers was and is to serve as God’s instruments to lead young people to fullness of life. These young people in this newest Lasallian ministry in Haiti have a taste of that fullness of life.
Brother Frederick Mueller