Last May the diocesan Office of Muticultural Diversity (which includes the Ministry to Catholics of African Ancestry and the Haitian American Apostolate) presented “A Concert for Mercy” to raise funds to benefit the “La Maison des enfants de Madame Mole” Orphange in Haiti. The orphanage was founded by the Sisters of St. Louis in 2010 as a result of the earthquake which left many children homeless and alone.
Christine Paul, a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes in Malverne, worked as a volunteer at the orphanage and her experience with the children left her with a deep desire to do more. Paul, a recipient of the Catholics of African Ancestry Albert Neal, Sr., Scholarship, contacted Darcel Whitten-Wilamowski, coordinator of the Office of Multicultural Diversity, with the idea for a benefit conference.
“When Christine approached me with the idea for this concert, I became excited,” said Whitten-Wilamowski. “Not only was this an opportunity to help raise funds for a worthy cause but it also brought youth and young adults together to share their talents for a common cause. It was a joy to see and hear young people perform brilliantly on the piano, violin, singing, dancing and giving dramatic presentations.”
“We were able to raise $5,000,” she said. “The result is the beautiful letter of thanks that we have received from Sister Cecile who runs the orphanage, as well as pictures of our new-found family. For every person who supported the Concert for Mercy fundraiser and gave generously, I would like to share Sister Cecile’s letter. I would like you to see the faces and know the children that you have helped. What an advent gift it is for all of us to see the smiles on these children’s faces and know that they are smiling at us.”
A translation of Sister Cecile’s letter:
My joy is immense writing this beautiful afternoon of autumn as you have been able to touch hearts. Let me explain: this gift of $5000 to the children of Madame Mole is the safe expression of your love for the poor and also the realization of these words of Christ: “Everything you have done for the little ones who are mine you have done for me.” I am certain that the Lord gave you already in spades for this generosity.
I assure you that this money is a valuable aid to the development of these children at all levels. A thousand thanks and greetings from Sister Rosemane and the children. I entrust you to the love, kindness and mercy of the Lord, which cannot be overcome. May God provide you his graces of choice and may that smile bring you light.
In gratitude, Sister Cecile