ALLOUEZ — Young adults from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Belladere, Haiti, paid a visit to their counterparts from Santa Teresa Parish, in Elías Piña, Dominican Republic, on Sunday, March 27. The two parishes are located five kilometers apart.
“There were 50 participants from the neighboring parish,” according to Fr. Mike Seis, pastor of Santa Teresa Parish. The Green Bay diocesan priest has directed the diocesan mission in the Dominican Republic for 26 years. “The group included musicians, dancers, choir members and youth group. The Haitian students prepared the liturgy with songs in Spanish and Creole. They also proclaimed the readings in both languages.”
Fr. Roderick Mitial, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, preached in French and his message was translated to Spanish.
“The Mass was very spirit-filled, with much joy,” Fr. Seis told The Compass. “Our youth group prepared the reception for the visitors. After Mass, there was a cultural exchange at our local Catholic high school with both groups sharing music, playing games like football and volleyball, and, of course, food.”
The event attracted over 100 participants at the high school and over 500 for Mass, said Fr. Seis. “We haven’t done a cultural exchange for some time because of the pandemic restrictions and the situation in Haiti,” he added. “Both parishes were very excited about the exchange and we’re looking forward to more interactions. Soon I´ll be accompanying Bishop Tomás Alejo, our local bishop, in a visit to the parish in Belledere.”