Catholic Free Press

Catholic Free Press Digital Edition

  • Aug
  • 29

Covenant renewed

Posted By August 29, 2013 | 12:50 pm | Lead Story #2
haiti_3521SigningWEB

By Tanya Connor

The twinning between the Dioceses of Worcester and Les Cayes is an opportunity to participate in the new evangelization, the bishops of both dioceses said Saturday.
Bishop McManus and Bishop Chibly Langlois of Les Cayes signed the dioceses’ covenant at Mass Saturday at St. Paul Cathedral. Bishop Reilly, Bishop Rueger, and priests from the dioceses concelebrated. With the priests from the twinning Haitian parishes was Sister Eve Marie Lubin, a Sister of St. Anne who is principal of Ecole St. Anne in Les Cayes.
The Mass was in English, with music led by the Haitian Choir of St. Angela Parish in Mattapan in Creole, French and Latin.
“I wouldn’t mind listening to music like that every week,” said Louise Ethier, of Mary, Queen of the Rosary Parish in Spencer, who sponsors a Haitian student. “Their Mass is so joyful.”
“I thought the singing was extraordinary,” said Adam Ozaniak, of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Dudley, which twins with Ste. Cécile Parish in Pliché.
“It was a great celebration,” said Maria Sciannameo, of Our Lady of Mount Carmel-St. Ann Parish in Worcester. “It was wonderful to see the two dioceses recommitting.”
“We hope here in Worcester to be part of the new evangelization,” by helping those who may be less fortunate, Bishop McManus said in his homily. He said an example of the new evangelization was World Youth Day in Brazil, where three million young people gathered to recommit themselves to faith. Pope Francis told them to go where people are in spiritual or material need, Bishop McManus said.
The bishop spoke of love flowing from Worcester to Les Cayes.
“It’s a mutual relationship,” he said. “This means … that, while parishes in Les Cayes may receive financial support, what we receive is equally important.” People here receive an example of loving the faith and the Church, he said.
He told of going to the Be Like Brit orphanage in Grande Goave, Haiti, visiting humble homes in the mountain and celebrating Mass in the people’s church.
“Wednesday, 5 p.m., the church was jammed,” he said. “What I witnessed was a sign that they have known Christ and the power that comes from that relationship. When I returned to Worcester I got on my knees and thanked God. … Let us remember how good God has been to us, giving us the gift of faith.”
The bishops signed the covenant, then embraced. The congregation applauded.
In a prepared talk in English, Bishop Langlois said he welcomed the relationship between the dioceses. The covenant showed they want to continue twinning – a sign of communion and universality, he said.
“Twinning is a powerful support for evangelization,” he said. “I invite my brothers and sisters of twinned parishes to visit us, to realize it. Many communities have changed a lot through the twinning of parishes: with education for children, health for the sick, food for the hungry, drinking water for the thirsty, a home for the homeless, training for pastoral workers, emotional and effective support for the administration of parishes and dioceses.”
He said people in the Les Cayes Diocese pray for people here, and asked for their prayers. He expressed gratitude to all who have helped with the twinning, especially to Sister Judith Dupuy, the Sister of St. Anne who directs the Worcester Diocese’s Haitian Apostolate.
“It was a good day,” Bishop Langlois told The Catholic Free Press. He said it was the first time he signed the covenant. Bishop Alix Verrier signed it with Bishop McManus in Worcester in 2006.
“Our Church is a universal Church,” Bishop Langlois said. “That means we have to open our door to other people … and to show this identity to everyone.”
The new evangelization is lived out differently in different countries; the cultural reality is different, he said. But it is the same Church, the same faith “to help the people to meet Jesus in their life … to help them become the new people God wants them to be.”
“I would like to make a good relationship between the two parishes,” Father Clement Jean Elicio told The Catholic Free Press. The new pastor of Ste. Anne Parish of Sucrerie Henry, he hoped to meet Father Laurence V. Brault, pastor of his twin, St. Gabriel the Archangel in Upton, while he was here.
Education, health care and evangelization are important needs in his parish, which has a primary and a secondary school and a clinic, he said. He also wants to train groups in Scripture and liturgy. So scholarships for students and money for medicine and Bibles would be helpful.
“Last night Bishop Chibly Langlois asked to the parishioners from here to … visit the parishes in Haiti … to see the situation and come back here and give insight,” he said. “When you see the situation you can give good answer about the problem.”
How can St. Anne’s help St. Gabriel’s?
“We are Catholic … same faith,” Father Elicio replied. When people from here visit, they can see how the Haitians sing. He also said Haitian missionaries could come here for several weeks.
Paul LeDuc raved about visiting his twin parish. In May he and his pastor, Father Conrad S. Pecevich, of St. Anne Parish in Southborough, visited Ste. Anne in Camp-Perrin with Sister Judith.
“We have so much and we give so little,” Mr. LeDuc said. “When we go to our sister parish, they have so little and they give so much. It was very, very humbling going there.”
It was a learning experience, he said. He realized Americans don’t need lots of things. He learned what it’s like to get up at 5 a.m. and take a cold shower in order to get to a 6 a.m. Mass that lasts for two hours. Some Haitians start their two-hour trek to get there in the dark, he said.
“I needed this today, to rekindle the fire in my heart,” he said of Saturday’s Mass here. “I’m back in my nice comfort zone here. I can’t forget the fire that it started in me by going to Haiti, wanting to help them.” He said anyone who has the ability and calling should go.
Elaine David, of Our Lady of Mount Carmel-St. Ann Parish in Worcester, said when she learned about the needs in Haiti, and that in the Haitian Apostolate’s Adopt-a-Student program everything goes to the child, she wanted to participate.
She sponsors Rose-Camie Belvy; she knows her name “like my own kid,” she said. “I have her picture on my counter in the kitchen.”