We ask that you join us in our prayers for the victims of Hurricane Matthew. The students this week have prayed especially hard for the people of Baradères, location of our sister parish and our sister school – St. John the Baptist. Father Jean Philippe wrote that 229 people in his parish have died and 1,800 are now homeless. During the storm, the town center in Baradères was under 6 meters of water. The church was under 2.5 meters of water.
"As pastor of this desperate people, I don't see how we are going to survive," Father Jean Philippe wrote. "We saw death in the face. The water was up to the ceiling of the presbytery. All the houses were under water."
"This hurricane Matthew leaves us empty-handed. The Baradères people have become poorer. They have no houses. Clothes, shoes, pets, gardens, houses, etc. are all gone. Many families are left homeless. I housed and used to feed 120 people at the rectory. Now it remains for me nothing. And people are unable to return home because they have no homes. Since Tuesday they wear one garment. So far I can't get out of the rectory because of the water in the rectory. The closure of the presbytery has fallen. All the chapels and the rectory schools are destroyed. This is our situation."
"Faced with these problems, I ask all parishioners of St. John the Baptist to pray for us and to send us aid," Father Jean Philippe wrote in a leter to Cynthia Norris, SJB parish director of social justice, social concerns, and sister parish liaison.
The fence and gate of the College St. John the Baptist was destroyed, but the upper school was otherwise spared of severe damage. The lower school was destroyed.
This is the week that, ordinarily, our sister parish pastor would visit SJB in Silver Spring, and our students would have an opportunity to talk with him and with some of the students from Haiti. The Haiti festival will still take place as planned. There will be a special collection for relief for Haiti at mass and through the parish. Father David will announce the details this week.
Catholic Relief Services has an ongoing emergency response effort to Hurricane Matthew. Here's the website.
SJB Giving Tree Grows
Have you noticed the growing number of leaves on our SJB Giving Tree across from the main office? We have nearly 1,000 dollars in donations of cash/Target gift cards! Our collection will be donated to families who have lost their homes as a result of the Silver Spring apartment explosion last August. Thank you to all of you for your generosity! We will be collecting donations until next Monday if you are still interested in contributing.
Kindergarten Parent Coffee is Thursday
Kindergarten parents are welcome to join me for coffee and conversation on Thursday, Oct. 13, from 8 to 9 am in the Lyon Center. The purpose of the parent-principal coffees is to bring us together, to open lines of communication, and to set aside unrushed time to talk with each other. I try to schedule a coffee with parents of a different grade each month. They're all posted on the school calendar.
Family Flix was a great success! A big thank you to all who ventured out on a rainy evening to snuggle up with blankets in the gym and not let the weather keep your family from watching the Jungle Book with your SJB friends.
We would like to thank the following families who contributed to this grand success by donating cupcakes, setting up the gym, preparing for and manning the concession stands, distributing pizzas, and cleaning up: Anteneh, Aparicio, Banh, Botkin, Breeden, Branch, Brathwaite, Campagnari, Caslani, Chakmakian-Lodge, Cunninham, DeGross, Diaz, Ebanks, Fitzgerald, Garcia, Gomez, Green, Hechinger, Hickey, Hippchen, Lappin, Lombardo, Mabie, McElwee, Murray, Ober, Oladotun, Palmer, Regan, Ribas, Schnell, Sigg, Taddesse, Taylor, Trebel, Vasquez, Wood, and Young.
Please grant forgiveness, if we missed a name. There were many others who helped. Thank you all!