Society for St. Louis de Gonzague August 2017 Newsletter
WELCOME TO THE
SOCIETY FOR ST. LOUIS DE GONZAGUE
NEWSLETTER #4 (August 2017).
In this issue we've included highlights from Fr. Bernadins Visit in July and our August Committee meeting as well as pictures of the Mass Celebrating the Completed Church Reconstruction in June.
If you have any comments or questions please comment below.
Thanks for your continued support of our mission.
SAINT BERNADETTE PARISH TWINNING COMMITTEE
Fr. Bernadin's Visit
Monday July 10
Fr.Bernadin spent the day on traveling from Bonbon to Louisville. The trip is a full day and he arrived at Midnight at the Louisville airport.
Tuesday July 11
At 10:00 AM a meeting was held with Sr.Larraine and Gerry Delaquis at The offices of Water With Blessings (WWB). This is the organization that helped to provide water filters for the people in Bonbon after the hurricane. We discussed how the filters were working and if there was any other needs at this time. Fr.Bernadin asked about a drinking water solution for St Veronica School. After a discussion it was decided that the best solution would be 3 to 4 filters, multiple 5 gallon water jugs to store filtered water and individual drinking cups for the 300 school children. The Twining Committee will need to work with WWB to implement this solution.
After the meeting Members of the Twining Committee met for a lunch with Fr. Bernadin to welcome him and discuss the schedule for the rest of the week.
At 7:00 that evening Fr.Bernadin, Bob Glaser and Maryse King (our translator) attended an ice cream social with the Knights of Columbus at the St.Bernadette parish center. A short presentation was made and then Fr.Bernadin answered questions from the K of C members. The presentation covered the destruction experienced by Bonbon as a result of the hurricane in October of 2016 and the recovery efforts since.
Wednesday July 12
Fr. Bernadin had lunch with Fr. Jeff and Fr. Seejo with the help of Gerry Delaquis as the translator. That evening there was a dinner at Bob & Sue Glaser's house for Fr.Bernadin and the Tek4Kids team who have been very helpful with the support of our efforts in Bonbon.
Thursday July 13
Fr. Bill Fichteman hosted Fr. Bernadin, Bob Glaser and Rose Yunker (our translator) for a trip and tour of St. Meinrad Archabbey. It included a tour by one of the resident monks of the guest house, retreat center, monastery, and church. We attended the noon prayer service and then had lunch at the retreat center before visiting the library and Seminary.
That evening Fr. Bernadin, Maryse, and Bob Glaser attended the Youth Group meeting at the parish center. The youths were very interested in hearing about life and challenges in Bonbon. Also Fr.Bernadin was interested in seeing how the youth at St.Bernadette were sharing, learning and growing through the Youth Group experiences. He mentioned that he will attempt to start a similar experience with his youth when he returns to Bonbon.
Friday July 14
Fr.Bernadin and Maryse met with the parish Twining Committee. He thanked them for all the support and help his parish has received from St.Bernadette. He shared the challenges he is still dealing with from the hurricane and normal issues that currently exist in Bonbon. This includes the remote chapels he supports that are destroyed, the lack of food for the school children which affects their ability to learn at school and the need for better pay for the teachers at St.Veronica school. He shared that he still owes $6825 for the church rebuilding and $4000 for his portion of the cost for a replacement car for the church. The process for starting a business in Bonbon so his parishioners could generate money to help themselves was also discussed. Fr.Bernadin let the committee know his priority for St.Veronica School was faith building, reading and math. It is important for the committee to hear directly from Fr. Bernadin regarding St.Louis De Gonzague church and St. Vernica School needs and challenges.
After the meeting. the committee members, Fr. Bernadin and Maryse went to lunch at "The Table" restaurant in Portland ( www.tablecafe.org ). The Table is a non-profit, social entrepreneurship that serves locally grown, fresh food and operates under a pay-what-you-can model. It is always good for Fr.Bernadin to see how the people in Louisville help their poor people.
Friday evening Fr.Bernadin spent time and dinner with Gerry Delaquis' family who are from Haiti.
Saturday July 15
Bob & Sue Glaser, their granddaughter, Mary Jo Mugavin and her grandchildren hosted Fr. Bernadin on a visit to the Louisville Zoo. All had a good time.
At the 5:00PM mass Fr.Bernadin gave the homily with the help of Rose Yunker (translator). He express his gratitude to the parishioners of St.Bernadette and shared with them the challenges he faces in Bonbon. After mass there was a short slide show, presentation and discussion on the conditions in Bonbon.
After mass Fr.Bernadin went to a dinner with some of the committee members.
Sunday July 16
The events at the Saturday evening mass were repeated at the 8:30 and 11:00 masses with the help of Maryse King (translator). The after mass events were well attended by those parish members who were interested in more details of the recovery, conditions and challenges in Bonbon.
The last event of Fr.Bernadin's visit was a pot luck dinner hosted by Mary Jo Mugavin. This was an opportunity to wish him farewell and safe travels as he left the next morning to return home.
Minutes from August 5th, 2017 Commitee Mtg.
Those present: Mary Jo Mugavin, David Zorn, Patty Trippe, Angela Schmelz, Faustin Ndagijimana, Gary Keibler, Bob Glaser and Carla Rauen
We opened with a prayer at 9:04
The minutes were approved from our July 14th meeting.
Gary presented the treasurer’s report, which I will send with these minutes. Gary stated that there has been a change in the staff and he wanted to be sure that they are carrying over our funds from the last fiscal year.
We took in $7,574 during Father Bernadin’s visit which was collected after all the masses. It was noted that our parish definitely steps up in an emergency situation to help those less fortunate.
Gary stated that we have taken in approximately $10,000 in the last 6 months. He would hope that we can take in $20,000 yearly. Bob told us that several people have contacted him about donating.
We agreed to increase what we are giving the teachers by $300 a month, so that Fr. Bernadin can hire better quality teachers.
$3000 will be funded by our committee collections and added to the current $8000 from the parish budget that is used for St.Louis De Gonzague Church and St Veronica school expenses.
David will have a check cut for $3000 this quarter along with $6825 to cover what is owed on replacing the church roof. Mary Jo made a motion that we pay down the rest of what is owed on the roof and Gary seconded that motion. All were in favor.
We will continue to send $3000 each quarter for this fiscal year, which will total $11,000 for parish expenses and teacher’s salaries. $2000 was already given to Fr. Bernadin for the first quarter. Beginning with the next fiscal year, we will be sending $2750 each quarter.
Faustin favors micro lending to help the villagers of BonBon to begin earning money for themselves. A gentleman from Kenya, whose community raised chickens through a micro lending program, has recently talked with Faustin. We would like to meet with him in the future. Bob also knows people in Jeremie that are presently raising chickens. Bob said that Fonkoze is a micro lending institution who could administer a program for BonBon. Our parish could make the loan, but Bob said that we need a business plan first. He will discuss this with Fr. Bernadin on his visit this fall.
Faustin told us about his experience in a refugee camp and his close call with death because of the lack of medicine. Fortunately a medical team came to his rescue. He stressed the need for some medical assistance in BonBon. He also feels we can learn from other parishes and their experiences.
Gary stated that he feels we should focus on the school needs and a micro lending program. Bob agreed that education and a business should be our first priorities. Gary also said that we should look into a medical mission trip to BonBon. The team could be made up from our community with individuals that have medical backgrounds.
Patty said that we need to look at the whole picture and then prioritize.
At this point, Bob told us that Fr. Bernadin will ask for money from any source that is willing to listen. An organization from Germany has agreed to supply him with a truck, if he can come up with $4000. He has borrowed that amount from his bishop. Mary Jo explained that the Bishop has a fleet of vehicles and how that system works.
Another organization, “From here to Haiti”, helped pay for the
after the structure was repaired and the roof rafters were secured.
Gary stressed that we are
responsible for loans that Fr. Bernadin has procured. We discussed paying on the loan for Fr. Bernadin’s truck, but decided against such. Bob was asked to explain all that we discussed at this meeting with Fr. Bernadin in an email.
Mike could not attend this meeting but said that he could possibly help us with communications, which he’ll discuss at our next meeting.
Gary asked Bob for photos for the next newsletter.
It was suggested, that we ask those who gave money to Fr. Bernadin during his visit, if they would be interested in receiving the newsletter. There is a list available of those who gave a check or filled out an envelope.
We ended the meeting by praying the “Our Father” at 10:05.
Sent by Nancy Falls on Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 7:00AM