PORTLAND---The Sacred Heart/St. Dominic Parish Social Justice & Peace Commission has announced a collection for its ongoing support of a Haitian school and the over 200 children that attend it.
The collection will be held on Sunday, July 7, at Sacred Heart Church, located on 65 Mellen Street in Portland, during Masses at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The Mass at 12:30 p.m. is celebrated in Spanish each week.
All proceeds from the collection will support Christ the King Parish School in Morne Rouge, Haiti. Over 200 children attend the school and money from the fundraiser will help pay the salaries of teachers and fund the school’s daily meal.
“The students are fed a simple rice and beans meal at school every day, cooked on an open fire next to the school,” said Anne Johnson of Sacred Heart/St. Dominic Parish. “Sometimes, it is their only meal.”
The collection on Sunday is the latest fundraising event for the “Haiti Project,” now in its 16th year.
“Our ‘Haiti Project’ began helping Christ the King Parish School in 2004,” said Johnson. “At that time, the pastor, Pere Gabriel Julmice, was superintendent of Catholic schools in Haiti. He started a parish school holding classes in the corners of their church.”
The donations from Portland made an immediate difference in Morne Rouge.
“Our donations enabled him to build one classroom after another,” said Johnson. “Now there are six grades and a kindergarten!”
The financial support for the “Haiti Project” comes in many forms. In addition to the collection, the parish holds an annual “Empty Bowl Supper” at Sacred Heart Church where soup and bread are donated by local restaurants and bakeries. Attendees take home their empty bowls as a reminder to be in solidarity with the people of Haiti and others living in extreme poverty who have nothing to put in their bowls. The parish also organizes an annual yard sale, a flatbread pizza fundraiser, and other events to raise money.
The “Haiti Project” is conducted by the parish’s Social Justice & Peace Commission, which aims to meet the human needs of all people in the parish community and beyond, to provide for the visitation of the sick and lonely, to educate the parish on justice issues, and to work cooperatively with community organizations to better our world.
“The support from our parish has been incredible,” said Johnson. “We hope it continues this weekend.”
For more information about the collection or how you can help support the “Haiti Project,” contact Anne Johnson at (207) 929-3088.