St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Gonaives, Haiti
Beginning in 2015, our parish has committed to supporting and praying for St. Therese of the Child Jesus parish in Gonaives, Haiti. Their pastor, Father Paul Dorlean, has an incredible reputation in his diocese for establishing schools anywhere he is assigned, and St. Therese is his most recent assignment.
Gonaives, a city on the coast, is badly deforested and therefore has few natural resources. Because most children in his parish never attend school, Father Paul wanted to use the church building to begin a small school. However, his church is located partway up a mountain, away from the floodplain. Therefore it is too difficult of a journey for small children to make on a daily basis. His ultimate goal is to establish a school closer to the town. The new school opened its doors in September of 2017.
Father Paul first came to visit us in October of 2015. He spent a week touring Dubuque, meeting parishioners, and saying all the weekend Masses in his native French. Assisted by translator Cinera, he also spent many hours talking to our staff, parishioners, and religious education families about his home and the needs of the Haitian people.
After his first visit, St. Joseph the Worker raised $13,000 for Father Paul to use on construction costs for a rectory where he can host visitors. Because of everyone’s generosity, progress is ongoing, and the rectory has electricity, a septic system, and plumbing! The school is now open and serving the children of Gonaives!
St. Therese of the Child Jesus needs support to help make sure students receive a good meal and to help them to provide services to their parishioners. We have committed to sending a minimum of $6,000 per year to our sister parish, but hope that the generosity of our community will lead to sending much more. Father Paul invited a delegation from St. Joseph the Worker to visit which helped form more lasting relationships and allowed parishioners see for themselves the joys and struggles of the Haitian people.
If you want to contribute to our sister parish or would like to be on a future delegation to Haiti, contact Deacon Bill Biver in the parish office: