FARMINGTON — Parishioners at St. Joseph Parish in Farmington and St. Rose of Lima Parish in Jay are inviting people to assist with their work on behalf of St. Laurent Parish in the Diocese of Les Cayes, Haiti.

The Parish Twinning Program began in 2004.

“The Parish Twinning Program of the Americas ‘twinned’ us with St. Laurent,” said Janet Brackett, chairwoman of the parishes’ Haiti Ministry Committee and a parishioner at St. Joseph. “We reached out to St. Rose of Lima Parish and invited them to join us. Since then, participation and members have come from both parishes.”

At their expense, parishioners began to make regular visits to St. Laurent in 2008, and purchased Haitian crafts to sell at holiday fairs, community events and local galleries, with proceeds benefiting the Haitian parish.

As the donations continued to grow, so did the list of ideas to help.

“A couple from St. Rose sponsored an annual breakfast with all of the proceeds going to St. Laurent,” Brackett said. “For several years, the youth ministry at St. Rose raised money as part of their Lenten program. After the Haitian earthquake in 2010, we partnered with the local Rotary Club to do a dinner and silent auction event and, after Hurricane Matthew, we raffled a handmade lap quilt and sold direct trade Haitian-grown coffee as part of a fundraising program.”

In 2013, the Jay and Farmington parishes started to utilize a container shipment program offered by Parish Twinning Program of the Americas.

“The first time we did this, we collected items to furnish a small community clinic that we had financed; we sent exam tables, scales, file cabinets, office chairs, crutches, canes, blood pressure cuffs, a hand-held fetal sonograph, and lots of over-the-counter medicines,” Brackett said.

St. Joseph and St. Rose of Lima Parishes continue to arrange the shipments that always include over-the-counter medicines, school supplies, and religious articles.

Since 2004, 14 parishioners from Maine have visited St. Laurent, and three priests from St. Laurent have made the journey to Farmington and Jay.

To offer assistance to the Haiti Ministry Committee at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Jay and St. Joseph Parish in Farmington, call 207-778-2778. To learn more about the Parish Twinning Program of the Americas, including ways to donate to their mission, visit www.parishprogram.org.


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