About Hands and Hearts with Haiti

Our Mission

Fr. Justin Dyrwal of Assumption and Fr. Leveque Bien-Aime of Mirebalais

Fr. Justin Dyrwal of Assumption and Fr. Leveque Bien-Aime of Mirebalais

Hands and Hearts with Haiti is a united, multi parish partnership rooted in mutual trust and respect.  Together we seek beneficial, self-sustainable opportunities that best meet the needs of our brothers and sisters of St. Louis Parish, Mirebalais, its Chapel communities and all members of this partnership.

Our History

Current members of Hands and Hearts with Haiti include parishioners from Broadview Heights, Ohio, Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Pulaski, Wisconsin, partnering with St. Louis, King of France Parish in Mirebalais, Haiti.

Several members had visited and collaborated on programs in Haiti since the mid-1990s. In 2004, we met Fr. Leveque Bien-Aime, a Haitian prist, at a Conference on Haiti. We then continued to build friendships during follow up visits to Haiti while we explored some of the root issues of poverty that lead to poor health, lack of education, and lack of hope for a better life.

In 2011, when Fr. Leveque was appointed pastor of St. Louis, King of France Parish in Mirebalais and the four nearby chapel communities of Noyau, Feja, Desvarieux, and Coupe Gorge, he invited us to join him as a twinning partner at his new location. Having concluded that access to education, clean water, and economic opportunities were major concerns of the rural community, we decided to try to “do small things with great love” (St. Therese of Lisieux). We accepted Father’s invitation and, in twinning, have found our lives to be continuously enriched by the presence of our Haitian brothers and sisters.

In 2016, with the coming of a new Bishop (Jean Desinord) to the Diocese of Hinche, three of Father’s original chapel communities (Feja, Desvarieux, and Coupe Gorge) were placed under the direction of another priest. Fr. Leveque now carries the titles and duties of Monsignor and Vicar of Priests for the Diocese of Hinche, in addition to being Pastor of St. Louis, King of France Parish in Mirebalais and two nearby Chapel Communities, Noyau and Boyer.

Today we desire to move forward with the vision that Fr. Leveque has for developing self-sustainable opportunities, expanding the availability of education, and building friendships and spiritual growth for all members of this partnership. Together we continue to build upon our common goals.

Our Goals

  1. Assist St. Louis Parish and Chapel Communities in providing ministries and worship that are meaningful for the community.
  2. Assist Fr. Leveque in establishing Catholic Primary Schools to serve the children of the rural chapels.
  3. Help create and support agricultural programs that assist families economically and lead to self sufficiency.
  4. Help provide a variety of clean water systems to serve both small municipalities, individual families and schools.
  5. Support the parish ministries by collecting, shipping and distributing items requested.
  6. Develop relationships that mutually work at understanding and respecting cultural differences.
  7. Continue to support the projects of St. Louis Parish, Mirebalais and Chapel communities through fundraising efforts.