Diocese of Fond du Lac supports Haitian development

Posted Dec 12, 2011

[Diocese of Fond du Lac] The Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac has taken two opportunities to support their brothers and sisters in Christ in Haiti. The offering of over $1,400 collected during October’s annual convention will be donated towards rebuilding Haiti’s Episcopal Cathedral. Outreach funds of $8,000 approved during November’s Executive Council meeting will be donated to rebuilding Port-au-Prince’s Holy Trinity Music School. Both were destroyed by a devastating earthquake in January 2010.

“The devastation in Haiti from the 2010 earthquake was almost total in its effect” said diocesan spokesperson Matthew Payne, “The need for essentials has diminished and now the long term development has begun.”

The Holy Trinity complex, founded in 1927 by the Episcopal Sisters of St. Margaret, included a convent, guesthouse, music, primary and trade schools, and an income producing gift shop. Sister Anne Marie, founder of the educational programs at Holy Trinity, was convinced that even in a country as poor as Haiti, music is not a frill, but is a basic ingredient of life.

The music program began in 1963 with students from the primary school and slowly became one of the only institutions in Haiti to experience integration of children of differing economic levels. At the time of the earthquake, more than 1,200 students attended the Holy Trinity Music School. Lessons were offered on all orchestral instruments, piano and voice. The school boasted five orchestras, three bands and the well travelled Petits Chanteurs. Over the years, the music school has gained international recognition and acclaim, touring the United States several times. Many consider the music program of Holy Trinity to be one of the most successful projects ever begun in Haiti.

Holy Trinity Music School has served as an outlet for many Lawrence University students to volunteer and gain invaluable teaching experience. Since 1996 more than 40 Lawrence students and faculty have traveled from Appleton, Wisconsin, to Haiti to teach at various music programs in the country.

The Diocese’s gift of $8,000 was made to benefit the country, the Church, the community and the world. It will be added to the $32,000 already raised by Lawrence University faculty, staff, students and the general public.

The Diocese of Fond du Lac, based in Appleton, is a part of the Episcopal Church, USA and the worldwide Anglican Communion with over 6,000 baptized members worshipping in 38 locations across the northeastern third of the State of Wisconsin.

For information visit www.diofdl.org