Oblate Partnership Reviews Haitian Damage, Plans Grants



Reported by Arthur Pingolt, Jr.


L – R:  Fr. Loudeger Mazile, OMI, 
Richard Scott,  Fr. Joe Corriveau, OMI,
Arthur Pingolt, Fr. Jean-Francois Ruben, OMI, Fr. General Wilhelm Steckling, OMI,
Fr. Ellince Martyr, OMI

At the request of the Haitian Province of Oblates, a delegation of the Missionary Oblate Partnership visited Haiti in July to evaluate structural damage from the quake and also to make a presentation to the annual national assembly of the Oblates about proposed reconstruction aid from the Church.

Traveling with Arthur Pingolt, president of the Missionary Oblate Partnership was Richard Scott, partner, and retired CEO of a commercial construction company, and Fr. Joe Corriveau, OMI, a New England Oblate who is now a member of the Haiti Province.  Fr. Joe has acted as liaison for the writing of grants for Haiti projects as well as local guide for parties the Partnership has sent to Haiti. Mr. Scott’s construction expertise was utilized to accurately determine which buildings were salvageable and which were not.

About 100 Oblates gathered for the meeting at Camp Perrin, in the south of Haiti on July 6. Oblate Father General Wilhelm Steckling presented first, exhorting the Oblates of Haiti to view themselves as more connected to a global Oblate presence and to reach out more to Oblates around the world, whether this be through education in foreign countries, mission presence there, or continued communication and correspondence.

Fr. Joe, Scott and Pingolt reviewed the timeline of activity of Catholic Relief Services, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and other NGOs, attempting to educate the Haitian Oblates on a grant making process that will be initiated in the months ahead. In order to efficiently set priorities within the Province, the Partners suggested the Haitians formally designate a Grant Director who will be responsible for the process.

After the presentation, the Partners took a great many questions and comments finding that, like most Haitians, the Oblates expect little or no aid from the government. While still hopeful, they also grow increasingly concerned about the Church’s leadership going forward.

The visitors then moved on to review damaged properties and Richard Scott published a report to the Province upon his return to the US. Arthur Pingolt estimates Scott’s evaluation will save the Province hundreds of thousands of dollars they might have otherwise spent in demolition of some properties and non-essential repairs for others.

Finally, the partners met with the Director of Catholic Medical Mission Board and confirmed a channel for medicines from CMMB which would provide  sufficient medical supplies at all of the Haiti Province’s 13 medical clinics.

Upon his return to the U.S., Pingolt said, “Visitors like us could only speculate about the anxiety and frustration one would feel had they gone through an experience of destruction like the quake and then also lived through the aftermath for several months, wondering how things will be made right again.”

The Missionary Oblate Partnership is made up of men and women who seek a deeper connection with the Body of Christ, not only through philanthropy but through spiritual development and a personal encounter with the poor whom the Oblates serve. The Partners consider themselves co-missionaries with the Oblates throughout the world.


Fr. General Steckling addresses the National Conference of Oblates in Haiti