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24702: Hermantin (News) Gala to help build church
leonie hermantin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Posted on Fri, Apr. 08, 2005
Gala to help build church
A night of dinner and dancing on behalf of Little Haiti's Notre Dame d'Haiti
Catholic Church will feature a keynote address by Miami Archbishop John
Favalora and a preliminary look at the planned $4 million church.
BY JACQUELINE CHARLES
South Florida's Haitian community will get its first glimpse of the future
Notre Dame d'Haiti Catholic Church this Saturday when the Little Haiti
church sponsors its fundraising gala.
The event will feature performances by Haitian performers Farah Juste and
Magnum Band, as well as a keynote address by Miami Archbishop John Favalora.
''He's quite excited about it and he realizes the importance of having a
permanent church for the Haitian community because our population is
increasing,'' said Mary Ross Agosta, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of
Miami. ``He knows it's a question of stewardship not only for the church,
but for the Haitian Catholics.''
So far 1,100 people have bought tickets -- and seats are still available,
said the Rev. Reginald Jean-Mary, pastor of the 4,000-member church located
in the heart of Miami's Haitian community.
Jean-Mary has been spearheading the fundraising drive to raise $3 million
toward the construction of a new $4 million church yards away from the
current building at 130 NE 62nd St. The current structure is a 24-year-old
converted high school cafeteria.
Parishioners and the community have contributed nearly $300,000 toward the
goal so far, Jean-Mary said. Among the donors: North Miami Councilman
Jacques Despinosse. The Haitian American, who isn't Roman Catholic, promised
earlier this year to help raise $10,000. He plans to present the check
Saturday night, Despinosse said.
In the midst of the dinner and dancing, parishioners and community folk will
get a glimpse of what a new Notre Dame d'Haiti Catholic Church could look
Fort Lauderdale architect Franz Shropa, who designed St. Thomas the Apostle
Church in South Miami, will unveil preliminary sketches of the building,
incorporating elements of Caribbean and Haitian architecture in a 1,200-seat
building with a black Madonna, circular pews and stained-glass windows
paying homage to Haiti's revolutionary heroes.
The new church also will feature a 220-seat chapel and a memorial garden
dedicated to the thousands of Haitians who have died at sea while attempting
to make it to U.S. soil.