Minutes from November 10 Meeting:
Mark met with Fr. Tony (St. Louis King of France parish on LaGonave) and Fr. Roosevelt on November 9, and had a frank discussion about the accountability that we need in order to move to a model of sending money for specific projects. Both were in firm agreement - if money is sent for a specific purpose, it must go for that purpose. They agreed that we need to get receipts for things purchased, as well as pictures to keep our parishoners up to date.
Fr. Tony is a no nonsense kind of guy - a former judge who couldn't deal with the corruption and got out to become a priest. Mark liked him immediately. He looks forward to hosting us when we visit in late winter.
Fr. Roosevelt was going back to Haiti on November 15 to take charge of his new parish... It is up in the hills (4,500 feet elevation, might be a little cooler) south of Port au Prince. The church was destroyed in the earthquake, and mass is celebrated in a big tent. So this raises the possibility of supporting three parishes if we decide we have the means to do so. We'll see what God has planned for us in this regard.
So here's the plan for the next steps:
1. We will send Fr. Tony $2,000 for the purchase of food to distribute to his parish. Presuming that goes well, we will send another $5,000 for the remainder of St. Louis KOF share of the Bucks for a Bag money.
2. We will send Fr. Roosevelt $2,000 to support the orphanage that he has created by bringing the 13 children he was caring for on LaGonave to the mainland. This money will be used for food, and can also be used for tuition for these children. The rent for their building has already been covered by other benefactors for this year. We will also send Fr. Roosevelt $2,000 to buy food for his new parish (don't have the name yet) as part of the Bucks for a Bag program. Presuming that goes to plan, we will send him another $5,000 to complete his parish share of the Bucks for a Bag program.
3. Fr. Ronald already has $2,000 for the first part of the Bucks for a Bag buy for the St Louis de Montfort parish, as well as money for the parish clinic roof, the remainder of the benches, and the money from the Knights of Columbus for tuition for the orphanage kids. After getting confirmation that the money was spent as agreed, we will send the remaining $5,000 to comlete this years Bucks for a Bag program.
4. We will also advance Fr. Ronald some of the money expected to be raised with the winter tuition drive - we authorized $5,000 for tuition and books.
It's a good time to be part of our Haiti ministry, a lot of good things are going on!