Notre Dame Catholic Church
 Haiti Mission Visit 2009

Father Alexis Osnel has been pastor of Immaculate Conception “de Roseaux” for 23 of the 25 years that Notre Dame has been “twinning” with our sister parish.  Father Alexis is a native of Port au Prince, the capital of Haiti and a city of nearly one million people.  Roseaux is a small town of about 3000 population and there is limited industry.  Indicators of lifestyle in Roseaux are that there is no running water in homes and water has to be obtained manually on a daily basis by its residents.  The only electricity available is obtained from power generators.  The parish has one generator which can only provide electricity either for the church or for the rectory.

Immaculate Conception provides many services to the population of Roseaux.  In addition to religious services and schooling, the parish also provides nursing and medical services.   The medical clinic and primary grades are the responsibility of nuns.  The high school is the responsibility of Father Alexis.  Approximately 7 or 8 high school teachers teach three high school grades consisting of 250 students.

The visit from Father Alexis was our first opportunity to learn more about our sister parish in Haiti and to confirm some of what we had previously learned.  At Notre Dame, during week-end masses, Father Alexis thanked Notre Dame parishioners and spoke of the importance of the aide provided to Immaculate Conception de Roseaux by Notre Dame at the beginning of this past school year.  For example, funds sent to him last year made it possible for them to obtain school books for the high school that would not have been available without Notre Dame assistance.  (Note:  It should be mentioned that only funds so designated by donors are available to send to Haiti.  Only four Haiti collections are made annually at Notre Dame for this mission.)