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 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 a recently recontructed medical building.
Since 2007, St. Margaret Mary Parish has been linked to St. Gabriel Parish in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This all began under the inspiration of Father Jean-Pierre Philippe (who founded St. Gabriel Parish) and Father Bill Trusz (who was Pastor at St. Margaret Mary Parish at the time). In 2003, Father Philippe came to Canada on a Sabbatical and was stationed at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Hamilton. Sharing some of the struggles that St. Gabriel's was encountering many were inspired to try to do something to help out. 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, then Pastor of St. Gabriel's parish and began 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.
First Chair: Ed Dunn
First Advisor: Father Bill Trusz
Over the years, St. Gabriel's has been struck with setbacks of all kinds (natural disasters, poverty...) but our friendship and support has helped them forge ahead. Most recently we are nearing the completion of a bold five year financial promise we made to our friends of $20,000 USD/per year for building up of the their school and the education of children. It shows in a tangible way the love, friendship and spiritual, as well as monetary, support from one parish to the other.