As Lent Begins

Deacon Moynihan speaks to Providence College Accounting and Finance students on the importance of solidarity and subsidiarity in service and the need for business-minded Volunteers at Louverture Cleary School.

While schools in Haiti break this week for Carnaval, THP President, Volunteers and staff are hard at work spreading the good work about the Project in preparation for the building of a second school in the next three to five years. Last night, Providence College welcomed Deacon Moynihan to speak to students in the business school on the great need for business-minded Volunteers at LCS.

Today, thanks to the generosity of former THP board member Msgr. William McCaffrey, St. Margaret Parish in Rumford, RI is in their ninth year of dedicating their Ash Wednesday collection to The Haitian Project. Deacon Moynihan assisted and preached at today's Masses.

I think it's exceptionally important to remember that the requirement for Almsgiving is not satisfied by our regular giving from our earnings or by buying free trade coffee. It requires participation in the widow's might.

Therefore, Almsgiving requires making a sacrifice and giving what is gleaned from that sacrifice to someone who is in great need. For example, one might give up going to the movies for 40 days, and give the money not spent from that to The Haitian Project or another charity helping the marginalized.

-Deacon Patrick Moynihan, President of THP & Head of LCS


Supporting Institutions in Haiti

Many, if not all, of Haiti's challenges stem from a lack of social institutions, including a well-functioning government, a ubiquitous public school system, and even the most fundamental unit of society -- families. THP is proud that graduates of Louverture Cleary school marry and found nuclear families at a rate far above the national trend. In addition to educating LCS studentsabout the value of monogamous families, the older students are prepared in a special way by their responsibilities as "Guides" in their terminal year.

Nesly Pierre (LCS '05) puts it this way:

Families are the base of a society. Before we go to school, education starts at home. We are a strong family at LCS. When I was in Philo [U.S. 13th grade], I had to behave like a parent -- love the younger students, and even be hard on them when necessary. Now, I do the same thing as a good husband and father.

THP In the News:

In response to the high cost of fuel, unpaid teachers' salaries and, ultimately, the government's failure to hold elections, public transportation strikes and demonstrations brought business and productivity in Port au Prince to a halt earlier this week. [Louverture Cleary kept its doors open with dedicated staff and older students serving as substitutes for professors who were unable to get to campus].

To support the development of Haiti's social institutions, Deacon Moynihan recently proposed a plan that would allow foreign aid to have a lasting, long-term impact helping Haiti to develop rule of law, a sound infrastructure and public educational system. Deacon Moynihan comments:

Unfortunately, President Clinton and Denis O’Brien influenced the Martelly administration to pay more attention to Haiti being open for business than making sure that government does the business of government -- led to lots of PR, but not much improvement in terms of institutional government and the current failure to hold elections. The business that Haiti needs to be concerned about most is successful government.

Deacon Moynihan will be in Washington, D.C. to meet with several U.S. senators in support of the plan later this week. 


THP on the Town:

Former THP Board Member and current CEO of Bank of America, Brian Moynihan will be speaking in Providence this week as a part of the Darrell West Lecture Series on Religion and Politics. Follow this link for more information.

Saints Among Us


From Left: Samuel Cangé, Philo (U.S. 13th grade) student delivers a speech on the relevance of philosophy for LCS students preparing to rebuild their country; LCS staff member, Daëlle Edmond conducts an initial interview with a prospective Louverturian.

The feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas, patron of students, is traditionally celebrated in Haiti as Philosopher’s Day. In their final year of secondary school, Philo (U.S. 13th grade) students observe the feast day with guest speakers or, like last year, a festival. This year, the students prepared speeches on the relevance of philosophy. Samuel Cangé was one of the speakers:

At our little celebration, I talked about the history of philosophy and of St. Thomas Aquinas -- how he used faith and reason to understand the world. I spoke about how philosophy can make a better world, and a better Haiti. Imagine a country of philosophers… Philosophers are always asking questions, and asking the right questions are the first step in fixing the problems of a nation. With the right answers, we can overcome those issues that hold us back.

This year, the feast day coincided with the start of registration for the Louverture Cleary entrance exam. Over the next two weeks, hundreds of rising Sizyèm (U.S. 7th grade) students from the Port au Prince area will apply to become members of the Louverture Cleary graduating class of 2022. Dean of Academics, Marielle Laprès (LCS ’06) serves on the LCS admissions committee:

As the children go through the application process, we are trying to assess their academic aptitude, as well as their integrity. The questions we ask help us to see if the students are ready to live at Louverture Cleary as brothers and sisters, maintain academic excellence, and embrace the philosophy of the school: “What we receive for free, we must give for free.” (Mt 10:8) 

When the community conveys the gift of education and care, [the students] know that they must also give freely by living well in community, helping any fellow students who are struggling, and sharing what they learn with people in their home communities. They will have to share this philosophy with everyone.

This Valentine's Day, give the gift of an education!
Next weekend, we commemorate St. Valentine, who is traditionally celebrated for his defense of marriage under the Roman Emperor Claudius. As Deacon Moynihan has related in past updates, THP also cares about marriage. 
Consider observing the holiday by supporting The Haitian Project and Louverture Cleary students and graduates as they bring social and economic stability to their country.
To give in honor of a loved one, follow this link to provide their name and contact info. We will notify them of the gift you've given in their honor.

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