Sts. Anne and Joachim Catholic Church is in Labrande, Haiti, a rural area near the city of Gonaives. Our Lady of the Lake’s support is both financial and in kind. For example, OLL helped to build their new chapel when it was destroyed by the 2010 earthquake. Every year in the fall, Fr. Effener, their pastor, visits OLL in order to build relationships with our parishioners and update us on what’s going on in his parish. Our partnership with Sts. Anne and Joachim is coordinated by the Haiti Committee.

Christ the King School

Sts. Anne and Joachim owns a school called Christ the King. OLL supports a portion of the salaries for the teachers and administrators, since they no longer receive support from the government after the earthquake. Teachers make $100 per month for primary grades and $125 per month for preschool because of the large class sizes. Your contributions support eighteen teachers and staff for the last four months of the school year.

Several years ago, OLL took on a food program at the school. For approximately $22,000 per year we are able to feed over 400 students daily at almost half of the cost of the previous program without compromising the nutritional quality. We provide meals for a little less than thirty cents each. Your donation goes a long way, since Fr. Effener is able to buy at discount prices and provide sound nutrition for his students. OLL has established the only computer lab in the region at the school by working in conjunction with the CTEE program at West Ottawa Schools. Thanks to your support, the community also has a microfinance bank.

Multipurpose Rectory Project

What: OLL is partnering with Sts. Anne and Joachim Parish to build a two-story, multi-purpose rectory.

Why: The old rectory was too small, and it was in very poor condition. Fr. Effener, the parish’s pastor, was informed by an engineer that it did not make sense to remodel it. Due to the large size of the parish, Fr. Effener expects an associate priest to be assigned there in the next few years. Both priests will live in the new rectory, and the second floor will be available for guests, including OLL parishioners. When the rectory is complete, our parish hopes to send larger and more frequent groups of visitors to Sts. Anne and Joachim.

How: The parishioners of Sts. Anne and Joachim have very little money to contribute to this project, but they are giving what they can. More importantly, they are donating building materials and their own labor. In 2018, OLL parishioners generously assisted with the project through their joyful, sacrificial financial gifts. Many parishioners also support our sister parish financially on a regular basis. Thank you for your generosity!

When: Construction is still underway, and it has been delayed by political instability, rising prices, and the pandemic. However, the people of Sts. Anne and Joachim Parish, in partnership with OLL, are rising to the occasion.

Facts About Haiti

  • Haiti’s land and its people are beautiful.
  • Founded in 1804, Haiti is the first independent nation in Latin America and the Caribbean, the second republic in the Americas, and the only country in the world established by a successful slave revolt.
  • Haiti successfully defended itself from French, Spanish, and English invasions.
  • Haiti shares its island with the Dominican Republic.
  • Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
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