The Rev. Dr. Charles Morris says: Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Tampa, FL Catherine Dickson says: Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Comments (7) An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Featured Jobs & Calls Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Associate Rector Columbus, GA Even prior to the 2010 earthquake, students at the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti’s St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, stretched the space available at the school. Rebuilding plans call for more classrooms. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service[Episcopal News Service] A New York Episcopalian has taken the lead in the effort to rebuild the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti’s St. Vincent’s School for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince, which was destroyed by the 2010 earthquake.Mary White’s gift was celebrated March 10 during a reception at the presiding bishop’s residence in the Episcopal Church Center in New York.The specific amount of the donation was not announced at the reception but Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori thanked White for her “willingness and generosity in offering a lead gift for the reconstruction of St. Vincent’s new facilities.”“It is a remarkable statement – a remarkable witness – to what is possible,” she said, also thanking White “for challenging us and helping all of us to be more generous and to help heal the world.”White is a member of St. James Episcopal Church in Manhattan and a physician.She said during the gathering that she feels “quite confident that the Episcopal Church, arm in arm with the Haitian church, can rebuild Haiti in a way that will be supporting social, cultural, educational and medical efforts throughout the country; not just in Port-au-Prince, not just with St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children.”White said she was inspired to make her donation by all she has heard from Episcopal Church leaders about “what progress has been made [in Haiti], what progress can be made and the conscientiousness with which it is being done.”Her gift, she said specifically to St. Vincent’s Director Pere Sadoni Leon and Haiti Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin, is meant to show that the church has “great confidence” in the work they are doing.“The earthquake of 2010 destroyed not only St. Vincent’s facilities, but also St. Vincent’s children’s hope in a better future,” Sadoni told the gathering.Knowing that St. Vincent’s will be rebuilt is not only great news for its children “but also for the handicapped sector in Haiti,” he said.What Leon called “this fabulous donation” will rebuild the destroyed infrastructure of the center and will help to improve and extend its program to serve more people than before the quake, he said.“If you could see my heart and the hearts of the children, you would understand at which level we consider this donation.”Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori March 10 hosted a reception to thank Mary White, center, for her “lead gift” to rebuild the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti’s St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The center’s director, Pere Sadoni Leon, left, later said White’s gift will also rebuild the hope of the children at the school. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News ServiceJefferts Schori, noting that both Leon and White mentioned hope in their remarks, said the hope that St. Vincent’s represents to Haiti, as well as to the Episcopal Church and the world, is about “the reality that there’s a place for all God’s children in the world.”White’s donation and the work of St. Vincent’s “gives children who would be discarded in other places a real role in the rebuilding of the nation. They are not only the recipients of care, they become participants and the partners in helping to heal the nation,” the presiding bishop said. “That is a remarkable thing to make possible.”She urged those at the reception, all of whom support mission and ministry in Haiti, to “keep telling the story of possibility, the story of healing that flows out from generous hearts across the world.”White’s journey to her donation decisionWhite said in an ENS interview prior to the reception that her decision to take the lead on the St. Vincent’s rebuilding was the unexpected outcome of an exploration she began close to 14 years ago when her parish mounted a capital campaign that raised approximately $50,000 specifically for mission projects. She first became aware of the needs in Haiti when she traveled there as chair of a parish committee to choose those projects.While the majority of that mission outreach money went other projects, some parish members did take mission trips to Haiti and White continued to work in the country, including being involved with a birth center called Maison de Naissance near Les Cayes. She first met St. Vincent’s Director Leon when he was rector of the Episcopal congregation in Torbeck near Maison de Naissance. From people connected with Children’s Medical Mission to Haiti and others, White said she’d heard about St. Vincent’s for many years.White, a doctor of internal medicine who specialized in infectious disease, also went to Haiti two months after the 2010 earthquake and worked in a field hospital near the border with the Dominican Republic on the grounds of an orphanage.The 2010 quake destroyed St. Vincent’s as well as the Holy Trinity primary, secondary, music and trade schools, the Convent of the Sisters of Saint Margaret and Holy Trinity Cathedral (all part of the cathedral complex), and the Episcopal University of Haiti, College Saint Pierre (a secondary school) and the diocese’s income-producing rental properties.Mary White and Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin share a laugh March 10 during a reception at the presiding bishop’s residence in the Episcopal Church Center in New York to honor White’s major donation to St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News ServiceAfter the quake, White said, she heard about the plans to rebuild the cathedral. “I listened and I listened and I know how important the cathedral was to the people – not just Episcopalians but also the people in Port-au-Prince – as a central meeting place. But I couldn’t connect as a person to wanting to contribute towards it,” she said.At St. Vincent’s “the needs there are more in sync with who I am. These are children, many of whom have been abandoned by their parents. I’m an adoptive mom; I’m a physician and it’s a place where a lot of medical care is given.”White said she also thought St. Vincent’s would be a “great place for St. James parishioners to be able to contribute” in terms of their time and talent as well as treasure, sharing their skills with students and faculty, and perhaps others in the community. Noting that she didn’t want to “force it on” St. James’ members, White said “it just seemed like getting that facility built would allow for a lot more people to help.”‘God meant this to be’So she invited Elizabeth Lowell, director of the Episcopal Church’s Development Office, to speak to St. James’ Partners in Mission group about volunteering in Haiti in the face of the U.S. State Department’s seemingly standing warning about travel in Haiti.As Lowell spoke, White said she began to see more and more ways in which having new facilities at St. Vincent’s could result in more people connecting with the school’s ministries.“Then we left that meeting and I said to her: ‘I want to rebuild St. Vincent’s,’” White recalled.Her gift is by far the largest donation White has ever made. “For me as an individual I have never done anything like this; not even close,” she said.White says her decision to donate to St. Vincent’s was an emotion-filled epiphany.“When I told Elizabeth as we walked out of St. James, I started to cry,” White said. “It felt like a relief” because she now knew how she wanted to spend some of the money she had received in a divorce settlement.“I felt euphoric afterwards,” she said. “I did feel afterwards that God meant this to be.”St. Vincent’s past and futureWhen it was founded in 1945, St. Vincent’s was the first school for disabled children in Haiti and is still the only place teaching braille to the blind in the country. About half of its current 250 students are blind; the others have multiple physical disabilities. They are taught in 12 classrooms and more such space is part of the rebuilding plan.The school is a long-standing part of what Bishop Duracin calls a “gospel of wholeness” that the Episcopal Church of Haiti, known locally as L’Eglise Episcopale d’Haiti, has preached and practiced since its founding in 1861. It is a gospel, Duracin has said, which “can serve people in their body, their mind and their spirit.”The plan to rebuild St. Vincent’s calls for an increased enrollment of 525 students (165 of them residential). New dormitory space is needed to accommodate that latter group.There also are plans for a medical clinic with orthopedic and pediatric care as well as eye, ear, and surgical care. The clinic will serve the surrounding community beyond the school.A planned guest house at the center will provide a place for people on mission trips to stay on the grounds, and it will provide some income for operations. Roof-top gardens are planned where students and faculty can raise food to supplement the students’ two daily meals while providing them with skills. It is expected that the gardens might also produce enough food that could be sold for income.The school has already installed a water-purification system that eliminates the need to buy bottled water and could eventually become another source of income.The school’s prosthetics workshop has been rebuilt, with the help of Catholic Medical Missions Board, Physicians for Peace and Hanger Orthopedic Group. Some of the older deaf children are learning a trade there. St. Vincent’s also is home to Haiti’s only hand bell choir – all of whose members are blind.In Léogâne, the diocese’s Faculté des Sciences Infirmières, its nursing school, was undamaged by the 2010 temblor and plans to expand its programs and make a connection with St. Vincent’s. An Episcopal University-approved four-year occupational and physical therapy training program will be located near the nursing school. Those students will intern at St. Vincent’s.A student at the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti’s St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, studies braille in November 2008. The center is still the only place teaching braille to the blind in the country. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News ServiceWith the pledge to rebuild St. Vincent’s, White sees the chance to deepen the connection between the Episcopal Church and the school, and the country as a whole. She said she hopes she will be able to volunteer routinely at the school.Making deep connections with people in need is important to White. She serves on the advisory board of the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, which advocates for legal rights for Haitians and has lately been involved in a lawsuit against the United Nations to compensate victims of a widespread cholera epidemic in the country.White also has spent the last eight years volunteering for the human rights project of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan where she conducts physical exams for people seeking asylum in the United States.White’s donation is not the end of fundraising for St. Vincent’s. “All of the needs for St. Vincent’s are not being satisfied by this gift,” she said. “There are many more opportunities for people to give from a big to a small level.”To that end the church’s development office aims to raise an additional $5 million for the school with $1 million each targeted for medical equipment and dormitory and classroom furnishings, and $3 million for an endowment to provide some operating income. A video about the school and those needs is here.White wants Episcopalians and others to remember that all of the church’s work in Haiti needs their support.“For the Episcopal Church’s mission as a whole, Haiti is not done. There is still the cathedral, there are still several other entities that need to be rebuilt,” she said.Lastly, she said, “I want to encourage people to change their thinking about Haiti; to feel confident about Haiti’s future.”“Buildings are being built to the highest standard of earthquake- and hurricane-resistant architectural standards; it’s being done deliberately and carefully, and in many ways environmentally soundly and I hope that this gift will not just lead to other gifts big and small but to a greater sense of confidence in Haiti’s future.”“Everybody just thinks that Haiti is doomed and that it’s never going to climb out of its hole. I hope that this [donation] is one of those things that’s going to show that people have confidence in Haiti and its future … Haiti is not hopeless.”— The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service. The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Submit an Event Listing Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 March 16, 2014 at 6:39 pm Thank you Dr. White for stepping forward. This school and the people it serves is a critical element to the recovery of Haiti. Fr. Leon is a dedicated leader and good steward for the children. The work is beginning, and it will take solid engagement on the part of many people for years to come. Rector Albany, NY Tags Haiti Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS By Mary Frances SchjonbergPosted Mar 11, 2014 Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector Smithfield, NC Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Mike McIntyre says: Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA October 13, 2016 at 9:38 pm Hello, I am a teacher who reached out to Belinda Paillant, one of your teachers, last year, Our students exchanged pen pal letters, but now I would like to get back in touch with her. However, I am afraid she and the school are in bad shape. I would love to get in contact with her again, but also to see what supplies your school may need from us. My students are very interested in putting together a care package for her class. Please let me know what we can do, and how we can reconnect. Merci beaucoup Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR March 11, 2014 at 10:38 pm Hats off to Dr. White! This is a moving and heartwarming story of hope for children with handicaps in Haiti. Thanks for this fine, well-written story. It seems to be a careful, well thought-out plan for this work. May God bless this venture in mission and ministry. And may many more be moved to give of time and money to it. TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Submit a Job Listing Rector Belleville, IL March 12, 2014 at 11:48 am I spent many years as a volunteer dentist at Saint Vincent’s School for Handicapper Children beginning in 1986. It was a program sponsored by the National Church called “Volunteers for Missions”. It was a one year commitment but I fell in love with this “arm pit” of our hemisphere and continued to go there for about 15 years. I am now in my 92nd year and can die in peace if Sister Joan’s dream continues. As an Associate of the Sisters of Saint Margaret, I keep up with their progress and occasionally send monies for their work.Peace,Frank Green Submit a Press Release Rector Washington, DC Youth Minister Lorton, VA March 12, 2014 at 12:32 am Thank you to Dr. White, for her inspiring generosity fueled by nothing less than the “greater love” that lays aside one’s life and earthly rewards for others. There are no more deserving children than these, to whom have been given hope and life. The people of Haiti have endured much and are still standing, with a double measure of strength and dignity instilled when they were created in the image of God. Having visited there twenty years ago, with my then 12 year old son, we witnessed the light of Christ burning brighter than any darkness can withstand or ever overcome. Thanks to Dr. White’s gift to St. Vincent’s School and the loving efforts of many past, present and future members of the body of Christ, hope for Haiti is an ever-unfolding reality. Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Hopkinsville, KY Featured Events Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Martinsville, VA Teresa Payne Gocha says: Rector Collierville, TN AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Press Release Service Comments are closed. Rector Bath, NC Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Frank A. Green D.D.S. says: Director of Music Morristown, NJ Bonnie Estss says: Cathedral Dean Boise, ID New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Curate Diocese of Nebraska Episcopal Church’s Haiti rebuilding effort gets major boost Gift makes possible rebuilding of St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children Rector Knoxville, TN Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 March 12, 2014 at 7:14 pm I was a Volunteer for Mission at Ecole St. Vincent in 1985-6, my time there was cut short by the revolution and expulsion of Duvalier. I have many many memories of that remarkable school, Sr. Joan and the wonderful children who still live in my heart. I’m delighted, and grateful that such an infusion has been given for the school. Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Serena Beeks says: March 12, 2014 at 12:30 am God bless you, Dr. White! St. Vincent’s has done an incredible job of fulfilling its mission under the most challenging circumstances. Your gift will make a vast difference in the quality of life for the children served there and in working conditions for the staff.
He said he was saddened that despite all their hard work, many workers faced hostility due to their close proximity to COVID-19 patients.”Some nurses have been kicked out of their rooming houses and nurses’ children are alienated by the neighbors due to the negative stigma surrounding COVID-19,” he said.Nevertheless, he thanked those in the public who have played their part to help slow the spread of the outbreak”We, nurses, and medical workers are placed on the last line. We are the last resource to come for when infections happened. But the public is on the front line, so let’s keep fighting the pandemic together,” he said.Topics : Besides medical treatment, COVID-19 patients also need companionship, a nurse at the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI) said.Nurdiansyah shared his experience treating patients at the COVID-19 referral hospital in a press conference held by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) on Sunday.”One nurse currently handles three to four patients,” he said. “One patient can take up to one hour for each treatment.” He said that sometimes nurses might even spend three to four hours at a time with a single patient, because some patients are afraid to be left alone.”We have to motivate patients and strengthen them mentally so that their immune system is also strengthened,” he said. “They hold our hands and we encourage them. They need mental support.”Nurdiansyah said that nurses helped coach patients who experienced shortness of breath and tried to comfort patients with lighthearted television programs.He said the first thing the nurses did before their shift every morning was pray for the patients’ recovery and the medical workers’ safety.