Faith lessons come early

By 
  • April 27, 2011
Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School BoardTORONTO - It wasn’t an ordinary March Break trip for Maria Masucci and her sons, Christian and Michael.

Masucci, a superintendent with the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board, took Christian, 11, and four-year-old Michael to the diocese of Jacmel in Haiti, where signs of the January 2010 earthquake are still all too obvious.

Masucci says the purpose of the trip was to breathe life into her kids’ lessons of faith by helping one’s neighbour.

Christian said he made new friends who taught him how to be grateful and “not to take simple things for granted.” In between soccer games, the St. Michaels’ Choir School student sang hymns for students at Le Bon Pasteur Elementary School.

Michael chimes in that he “wants to be a bishop in Haiti” when he grows up.

Though they are at a young age, it wasn’t the first overseas volunteer trip for the Masucci brothers. Christian has accompanied his mother to the sugar fields in the Dominican Republic on four trips to learn about the plight of workers there. Michael has joined them twice.  

“Building on that, we went over to Haiti to meet new friends in Jacmel to learn about their culture, to bring them a message of hope that people in Canada care for them, that we will do what we can to help them out,” Masucci said.  

The Dufferin Peel board is helping Jacmel.

Board volunteers, including teachers from other Catholic boards and university students, are helping to rebuild Le Bon Pasteur School and Notre Dame University.

In Jacmel, Christian and Michael met Bishop Launay Saturné and spent time with the students.

“It made it very powerful for them. They were fascinated to see kids learning and wanting to learn, even though the floors were made out of stone, sand and gravel,” Masucci said. “Being able to see the temporary shelter and realize what needs to be done, it made it real (for them).”  

The trip was part of laying the groundwork for the upcoming outreach trip where teachers and university students will help rebuild schools.

The Masuccis gave a $500 donation to the diocese on behalf of the board.

There are signs of hope in Haiti, Masucci said.

Rebuilding is taking place and a lot of the rubble has been cleaned up. But most of all, the sign of hope is in the smiles and laughter of the children whom Michael and Christian met, she said.

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