Our mission is to twin St. Margaret Mary Parish in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada with St. Gabriel's Parish in Beau Séjour, Haiti.
Filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we offer support, growth and guidance with love and respect to our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
We will do this through prayer, fellowship, education, and financial and material assistance.
We will also benefit from our relationship with our sister parish through the blessings that come from sharing our lives with the poor.
Our call is to be disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and be a beacon of light and hope for the world.
The new Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Monsignor Poulard, has appointed a new pastor to care for our sister parish of St. Gabriel in Beau Séjour, Haiti. His name is Father Gaby Noel. He is a young priest, of about 30 years of age. He comes from the same village as Father Ronal, our beloved friend and deceased former pastor of St. Gabriel. Please pray for Father Gaby Noel and his new parishioners.
The Passing of Fr. Ronal
In union with our brothers and sisters of St. Gabriel Parish in Haiti, we mourn the sudden death of Father Ronal Fleurvil, their young pastor. A special Memorial Mass is planned for Monday, June 6th, at 7:00pm in order to thank God for the extraordinary service that Father Ronal gave to God, to his church, and to his country.
"May songs of the angels welcome you, and guide you along your way."
Tragedy Strikes Haiti
At 4:53 pm on Tuesday, January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the island of Haiti. The tremour was centered approximately 15 km (10 miles) south-west of Haiti's capital city of Port-au-Prince and was quickly followed by two strong aftershocks of 5.9 and 5.5 magnitude. As can be imagined, the country's buildings and people were devastated.
Worldwide emergency assistance has been quickly organized and is attempting to assist with the aftermath of an infrastructure and buildings left in ruins, the rescue of buried citizens, and a population in dire need of food, water and medical treament. Unfortunately, assistance has been hampered by a crippled transportion system in attempts to reach an affected population of possibly one third of Haiti's 9 million people. Estimates place the probable dead at over 200,000.
In the early morning hours of Wednesday, January 20, another aftershock of about 5.9 magnitude again shook the stricken Port-au-Prince area.
Our twin parish of St. Gabriel in Beau Séjour was practically on top of the original quake's epicenter and suffered greatly. Fr. Ronal, Pastor of St. Gabriel's Parish, is alive and safe but he has reported many deaths in Beau Séjour, plus the destruction of it's main buildings, including the church, rectory, school and the recently reconstructed medical clinic, used in May 2009 by a St. Margaret Mary-sponsored dental team. The Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Monsignor Joseph Serge Miot, who has hosted St. Margaret Mary parishioners and was instrumental in support of Fr Ronal and St. Gabriels, was killed in a building collapse and will be greatly missed.
Our sisters and brothers of St. Gabriels have our prayers, thoughts and continued support.
Prayer for Haiti
God of compassion and love, we come to ask your grace,
comfort and strength for our sisters and brothers in Haiti.
As they cope with the devastation of the recent earthquake,
be their strength, be their comfort, be their solace.
May they always feel your endless love for them,
especially at this time of great suffering.
We pray for those who have died, especially Archbishop Miot.
Bring them into your shining presence.
We pray for those who have survived.
Dispel their fears, ease their anguish, grant them healing.
St. Margaret Mary, pray for them.
St. Gabriel, pray for them.
The Twinning Committee needs your help. We have a number of on-going initiatives under way that require volunteers and it could only take 15-20-30 minutes of your time per month. A typical "volunteer assignment" may be to help sell concert tickets or fund raising "gift" (eg, spice packs) or seasonal (eg, Valentine hearts) articles, 1 or 2 times a month.
A few minutes of your time can do wonders to help our sisters and brothers in Haiti. To find out more or to submit your name as a volunteer,
click here to download the Volunteer Form (a pdf).
The parish of St. Gabriel was founded in 1996 by Father Jean-Pierre Philippe. It is situated 2,000 metres atop a mountain, southwest of
Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Over 22,000 people live in this area and have very little access to education, medical care, and other basic necessities.
There is no road connecting St. Gabriel's parish to any major city. At present, Beau Séjour consists of a small rectory, the church, a very
rough school house and an abandoned medical building.
In 2003, Father Philippe came to Canada on a Sabbatical and was stationed at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Hamilton. In 2007, Father Philippe
suggested a twinning of the two parishes to Father Bill Trusz, who took the suggestion to St. Margaret Mary Parish Council and received
favourable response. Upon receiving the approval of Bishop Anthony Tonnos, Father Bill and Father Philippe traveled to St. Gabriel's Parish
in August 2007, to meet with Father Ronal, present Pastor of St. Gabriel's parish and begin the twinning in earnest. Upon return, Father Bill
produced a video of his trip, which was presented to parishioners of St. Margaret Mary at large. From this large group, a "steering committee"
was formed to spearhead the twinning of our two parishes.
| ||Chair:||Ed Dunn|
|Advisor:||Father Bill Trusz|
A bulletin board was produced and displayed in the church to let all parishioners know the progress being made. St. Margaret Mary's first
fundraiser in 2008, "Hearts for Haiti", raised $722, which was used for medical supplies. A second "Hearts for Haiti" fundraiser in 2009
ran over 3 weekends and raised $973. It shows in a tangible way the love, friendship and support from one parish to the other.