Date published : 2011-12-27
Our Seminarian > Rodnev Lapommeray

Home Parish: St. Jerome, Flatbush
Pastoral Year Parish: St. Therese of Lisieux, Flatbush
Seminary: Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington

I feel that God has called me to serve Him as a priest. It is a privilege for me; I did nothing to deserve such a calling. Our vocations are God’s gifts to us and our invitations to serve Him. As a priest, I want to be a vessel of Christ’s mercy and love.

Pope John Paul II, throughout his pontificate, repeated the words of Jesus: “Be not afraid.” Be not afraid to follow God where ever He may lead you; the roads may be difficult, but He will never abandon you. To be a seminarian, one must be willing to trust in the Lord. If the Lord calls you to a certain path in life, God will provide you with the graces to live that life. Trust in Jesus Christ always.

There have been a many priests who have been influential in my decision to become a priest. Bishop Guy Sansaricq, who was once my pastor, gave me an excellent example of priestly humility and holiness. Fr. Kieran Harrington in his wisdom and understanding has also influential and helped me.

Before becoming a seminarian, I went to college and majored in psychology. I did a lot of volunteer work. After college I worked in education, at which point I began to realize that God was calling me to the priesthood. I began to realize that something was missing. There seemed to be something more that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Nothing in this world could have satisfied me, except doing the Will of God.

I want to be a priest in the great Diocese of Brooklyn, for I feel that that Lord is calling me to serve here. It is here, in Brooklyn, that I was introduced to the faith and where I had my first experiences of the Church and priesthood. The Diocese of Brooklyn is unique in its diversity. Bishop Daily used to say: “the world is in Brooklyn.” There is just something about Brooklyn and Queens; the Diocese being the smallest geographical is also amongst the largest in terms of population in the United States, Brooklyn has a combination of the feeling and operations of a “big” diocese with the closeness and connectedness of a “small” diocese.

Some practical suggestions I can give for anyone discerning would be to speak to find a priest who you trust and speak with him about your spiritual life and questions. Continue going to Mass and regular confession as the sacraments are our food for the Christian journey. You cannot in any way discern God’s call without the sustenance of the sacraments we have through the Church Jesus founded. I would also recommend going to Mass during the week in addition to Sunday, if possible. If you find yourself with questions, doubts or anxieties, bring these to the Lord in prayer. Also speak about them with your parish priest.

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Date published : 2011-06-08
After Two Decades, What’s Next for The Pastoral College?

As Bishop Guy Sansaricq always says: At The Pastoral College, we have to pass from an elementaryknowledge of God to a higher level of knowing God. What we also need is a greater recognition of the importance of such a grace-filled program by the spiritual leaders of our community.

The Pastoral College first opened its doors in 1988. The founders of this school of faith were Sister Carmele Nerette and Bishop Sansaricq. The goal was to help leaders of the Haitian Catholic community to achieve greater knowledge of God. The students and former students, the spiritual children of Bishop Sansaricq, consider The Pastoral College as a second family.

The dream that Bishop Sansaricq and Sister Carmele have always nurtured for The Pastoral College is that it would develop an active and articulate lay leadership and hence equip the laity to play an active role in the church and in their community of faith. So The Pastoral College is a school of formation for leaders of our Haitian Catholic community. Former students are already playing significant roles in youth groups, in the charismatic movement, in prayer groups, and in all aspects of parish life. Bishop Sansaricq believes that this well balanced program has identified and helped educate strong Catholic men and women who have authentic leadership ability.

But some observers of the Haitian Catholic community raise this question: “why is it that some spiritual leaders fail to recognize the importance of such a valuable program? Why have they not made a stronger effort to send at least five or ten members of their parish every year to study at the college? Bishop Sansaricq stands ready to meet with spiritual leaders and discuss the college with them, share with them his own experience, and listen to their suggestions. He is also open to having the college adopt programs that have been successful in other dioceses where the Haitian Catholic community is strong.

Now, some details about The Pastoral College. It has an average yearly graduating class of 20. The classes are held 12 Saturdays a year, plus an out of town weekend retreat. The curriculum involves Bible studies, doctrinal studies: mostly the Sacraments and the key church’s moral teachings, spirituality, and “Je klere” (eye-Opener), which includes vital information on such subjects as immigration issues, Creole literacy, history, health, social and cultural issues and principles of Christian leadership. On Sunday, June 29, The Pastoral College had a graduation ceremony. The exuberance of the graduates loudly bespoke their deep appreciation of the program. After two years, a certificate is obtained. A diploma is granted after the completion of three years. We urge all priests involved in the Haitian Apostolate to encourage more laypeople to enroll in the program. The goal of the founders was to form the laypeople so they can be of greater assistance in their respective parishes. As one of the former students at The Pastoral College, I can never forget how my feeling of being closer to God was stirred into flame at the Bible classes taught by Bishop Sansaricq in my second year. It made me more determined than ever to avoid sin.

Remembering Prophet Hosea who said: “People perish for lack of knowledge,” we strongly urge all Haitian Catholic laypeople to join the ranks of The Pastoral College this coming September. (Simply call 1-718-856-3323) As Father Eden Jean Baptiste, spiritual leader of the Haitian Catholic community of St. Martha’s Parish in Uniondale, said: A well educated Christian layperson is a treasure to the church.

Frère Buteau (Brother Tob)

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Date published : 2011-06-01
20ème Anniversaire du College Pastoral

Le Collège Pastoral a célébré son 20ème anniversaire le Samedi 8 Novembre. Une messe d’action de grâce présidée par Monseigneur Guy Sansaricq , directeur de ce Collège, a été célébrée en la circonstance. Plusieurs Prêtres, Professeurs , étudiants et anciens étudiants étaient présents à cette rencontre spirituelle . Monseigneur Sansaricq, dans son homélie, a remercié les professeurs et tous ceux qui ont apporté leur collaboration au Collège Pastoral et il a insisté que l’objectif du collège est de former des agents pastoraux «L’objectif fondamental du Kolej c’est d’initier nos fidèles à la connaissance et l’utilisation de la Bible, former des agents pastoraux au zèle enflammé au flambeau de la Parole et de l’Eucharistie. »

Cette célébration était une rencontre de retrouvailles avec la présence de plusieurs promotions sortantes du Collège. Le Collège a déjà donné près de 400 diplômés. Plusieurs d’entre eux apportent leur contribution à la pastorale haitienne et ceux sont des leaders qui pensent que le Collège a un grand rôle à jouer dans le travail de conscientisation et d’évangélisation de nos frères et sœurs.

Sœur Juvénia Joseph FDM, l’une des étoiles montantes du Centre National et professeur au collège Pastoral a adressé le mot de Bienvenue . Dans sa brève allocution , elle a souhaité la Bienvenue aux anciens et aux étudiants du Collège Pastoral . selon elle, Ce 20ème anniversaire est une année de grâce pour notre collège et elle a insisté combien il est important de commencer à préparer le 25ème anniversaire du Collège Pastoral.

Le discours de Maxo Jouissaint,ancien étudiant du Collège pastoral a été un moment fort de cette célébration. Il encouragea les étudiants et anciens étudiants à exhorter les membres de leur paroisse à venir au Collège. Il faut ajouter aussi la remise d’une gerbe de fleurs à la Sœur Carmèle Nerettre Fdm a été un moment émouvant de cette grande rencontre familiale. Sœur est l’une des pionnières du collège pastoral et elle représente un symbole de fierté pour tous ses anciens étudiants.

L’un des plus grands défis du Collège, c’est d’arriver à encourager plus de laics de l’archidiocèse de New York à venir s’inscrire au collège. Les prêtres Haitiens ont un grand rôle à jouer dans ce travail de motivation et la Communauté Haitienne catholique a beaucoup à gagner dans la formation des fidèles, car un laic éduqué est une richesse pour sa communauté de foi.

Je continue à me rappeler de ma première retraite au Collège avec la Sœur Carmèle Nerette, la co-fondatrice du Collège. Cette retraite a été 3 jours de Pentecôte pour les étudiants de ma promotion. Depuis lors certains étudiants ont pris l’engagement de faire notre collège une 2ème famille . Il est important de souligner l’apport de Sœur Carmèle au Collège Pastoral est très précieux et ses anciens étudiants continuent à lui manifester leur profonde affection. La messe du 20ème a été un moment de grande joie pour Monseigneur Guy et Sœur Carmèle , le personnel du collège , les étudiants et anciens étudiants.

La chorale des Jeunes Disciples de Jésus de la paroisse St Jérôme a joué un grand rôle dans la réussite de ce 20ème anniversaire . L’animation de la chorale des jeunes disciples a bien soutenu la prière car chanter c’est prier deux fois. Ces jeunes représentent l’avenir de la paroisse de St Jerome. “Chapo Ba” aux leaders des Jeunes disciples. Nous demandons au Seigneur de continuer à bénir le Collège Pastoral pour le plus grand bien de la Communauté Haitienne Catholique de l’archidiocèse de New York tout en aidant les prêtres Haitiens de tous les diocèses de la zone de comprendre la nécessité de motiver ces paroissiens à venir au collège qui est une mine d’or pour la formation de nos laics.

Frère Buteau (Brother Tob)
Ancien étudiant du Collège Pastoral

National Center of the Haitian Apostolate 332 East 32nd Street Brooklyn, NY 11226 Tel. (718) 856-3323

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