BUILDING HOPE FOR HAITI
After Esperandieu Cenat's university was destroyed in the devastating January 2010 earthquake, he and two classmates were given the opportunity to complete their education at Siena College in Loudonville, New York with the help of Dr. Tom Coohill, a professor at Siena. As Esperandieu made friends at Siena and nearby St. Pius X Church, word spread of his dream of returning to Haiti and opening an orphanage. The pastor at St. Pius at the time was Father Michael Farano and he gathered a group of parishioners to hear Esperandieu’s story. Soon afterward, a nonprofit foundation was formed for the purpose of raising the funds to make Esperandieu’s dream a reality.
St. Francis Xavier Haitian Orphanage opened its doors in 2011 and immediately became home to several children who had lost their parents or whose families were unable to care for them. Each child brought a heart-wrenching story of hardship and hope for a better life. Several came from the mountains, walking for hours for the chance to realize their dreams for the future.
Today, the Orphanage houses and takes care of the daily needs of 18 children, most of whom are going to school and receiving medical care for the first time in their lives. Every day they give thanks for the blessings they have received, and the caring people whose generosity makes their new lives possible.
In the Fall of 2016, OLV-OLS decided to work with other local parishes building hope and raising funds for St. Francis Xavier Orphanage in Haiti. In 2020, the SFX Foundation’s support of the needy and orphans in Haiti will evolve and expand, consistent with its mission. Efforts include a partnership with Catholic Relief Services and their "Changing the Way We Care" effort to transition children out of orphanages and back with family and a home whenever possible and "Let's Share the Sun" Foundation bring solar powered energy sources to poor and under-developed nations by installing solar panels. This is the organization that installed the solar panels on St. Francis Xavier Orphange!
For more information on how you can support the orphanage contact Vici Armsby, Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation.
Fundraising Ministry Efforts at OLV-OLS have included:
CAROLING FOR A CAUSE: (Youth Ministry & Post Confirmation) - Christmas Caroling in December.
CHANGE FOR CHANGE: (Parish Wide effort during Lent) - Coin drive. Contact Vici Armsby (518-274-6269) for more information.
HANDS FOR HAITI: (K-6th Grade Faith Formation Families) - Minimum $1 donation to draw and cut out your hand prints and writing a message on the print. Hands are displayed in the Gathering Area of OLV. The Children of St. Francis Xavier have also given us THEIR HAND PRINTS which are on display as well.
HOST FOR HAITI: Free Will Family Pancake Breakfast in the Fall.
Children in Haiti received prayer cards and well wishes from the K-6th Grade classes!
HEARTS FOR HAITI: (Columbiettes) - February Bake Sale
WINE, CHEESE, CRACKERS & CONVERSATION - (Faith and Fellowship). Ongoing Speaker Series! With a variety of formats, Q&A, panel discussions, and presentations we come together for education, fun and fellowship! Glasses of wine will be sold with 100% of the proceeds going to St. Francis Xavier Orphanage! RSVP to Vici Armsby at 518-274-6269!
Check out PART 1 of our conversation with Fr. Patterson - to view the other videos from this event!