Over the course of the next few months, the Board of Directors for IC Haiti will
provide several historical and informational pieces about IC Haiti. Whether you
have known about IC Haiti since its inception or have only recently become
acquainted with it, we hope these pieces will help you to understand and be
inspired by this ministry to our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
Let’s begin at the beginning: how did our Collaborative’s ministry to the people of
Haiti come into being? Nancy Rose, current President of IC Haiti’s Board of
Directors and a board member since its inception, says Fr. Paul Berube got the ball
rolling with a sermon he gave back in 2008. He told parishioners about the extreme
poverty and suffering he witnessed on a trip to Haiti where some mothers were
feeding their children mud pies to keep their bellies full. He said it was
unconscionable for a small country so close to us not to be receiving help from our
rich nation. His passion was moving. So much so that when he introduced the
concept of us as a parish forming our own group to help the people of Haiti, there
was great interest.
Fr. Paul himself answered the question of how IC Haiti came into being when he
wrote the following to fellow IC Haiti Board members in June of 2011:
“A Haitian bishop visited St. Anne parish in Salem every summer while I was
growing up. He was bishop of Les Cayes (Haiti). Fond des Blancs is the most
eastern town in that diocese.
“Les Cayes and its needs never dropped out of my mind. In 2002 Fr. Marc Piche
was appointed pastor at IC Newburyport. A few months later as I was retiring, he
invited me to live in Newburyport at the rectory. A short time later Fr. Dick Butler
invited me to fulfill my dream of going to Haiti. We spent 5 days in Port-au-Prince
and Fond des Blancs. The “immersion” experience – the complete poverty of the
people and the efficiency of the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation – left me with a
need to do something. When I returned, a brief but encouraging conversation with
Fr. Marc was the beginning of IC Haiti. He gave his full support till the day he died
“A number of parishioners responded to an invitation to participate in an
informational meeting. The response was encouraging. It led to a more formal
recognition of the group and eventual use of IC-Haiti as its name. … The IC-Haiti
Board/Steering Committee established itself as a non-profit in 2008.”
And so, IC Haiti was born.