Three Hands For Haiti
I am grateful for your outpouring of prayers in response to our Haiti ministry and Bishop Jean last week. It is a testament to the importance and strength, provided by the Holy Spirit, of our CLI community.
Today, we offer you the third and final installment of our work in the Diocese of Hinche, Haiti.
Catholic Leadership Institute Board Member Drew Peloubet and his wife Susan are the generous donors who have helped make this ministry possible.
READ BELOW for more about their faithful friendship with Bishop Jean and the meaning behind the “Three Hands for Hinche.”
At a time of heightened turmoil, leadership and faith are more important than ever. We humbly ask that you continue to keep Bishop Jean and the people in Haiti in your prayers.
A Faithful Friendship
In 2021, Catholic Leadership Institute embarked on a journey in the Diocese of Hinche in Haiti. Despite the tireless work of Bishop Jean and nearly 100 priests in 50 parishes, he knew that the spiritual and physical needs of the 380,000 faithful Catholics needed something more.
Facing severe poverty and the threat of persecution for practicing the Catholic faith - along with inconsistent infrastructure including unreliable electricity and Internet access - made this mission unique and challenging.
With patience, perseverance, and a deep desire to serve the people, Catholic Leadership Institute walked Bishop and his priests through a process of goal setting, strategizing, and implementing.
But before this work began… it all started with a faithful friendship between Bishop Jean and Drew and Susan Peloubet.
Drew and Susan Peloubet are wonderful Catholic leaders who have graced God’s Church and His world so generously through service, family, and philanthropy.
As a member of Catholic Leadership Institute’s Board of Directors, Drew was able to forge this partnership between CLI and the Diocese of Hinche. He first met Bishop Jean many years ago when he spoke at the Peloubet’ s home parish, Christ the King in Tampa, FL. Drew immediately felt the call to be at his side.
Drew retired from his professional career, sold his successful company, and made Haiti his passion. He laughingly refers to himself as the personal assistant and U.S. liaison to the Bishop of Hinche.
Believing in Bishop Jean
He said, “I told Bishop Jean, ‘I will do everything in my power to help you in your ministry and I am convinced you are destined for sainthood.’ I know how much he wants to be Christ to his flock and to do everything within his capability to be that. He has the determination and ability; the only lack has been resources.”
Drew went on to support Bishop in a variety of projects and even attended his ordination. But he realized – they needed to get strategic. They needed a plan and support. “Planning is so important. You have to have a vision. Bishop Jean has a vision for Haiti and is a real change agent.”
As he began to search for who could be the support to Bishop Jean, Bishop Gregory Parkes in the Diocese of St. Petersburg recommended CLI after he himself had gone through a strategic planning process with CLI. This was the first Drew had ever heard of Catholic Leadership Institute.
When Drew asked CLI CEO Dan Cellucci: “Will you do this in Haiti?” Dan didn’t even hesitate before saying “yes.”
Drew was so committed to and supportive of this partnership with CLI that he even flew down to help support the team and the work.
Throughout this journey, the team catalyzed a strategic plan to create income projects, deepen faith, and build up the leadership and communications of their diocese.
Of the strategic planning process and the role of CLI Leadership Consultant Barb Eckert, Drew shares, “Barb’s love for this team was evident from the start. The team is so inspired and filled with a sense of joy that CLI cared so much and helped them to form a shared vision. They get to participate in something special through CLI. CLI is really making a difference. The Diocese of Hinche and its leaders are committed to the plan. This is all the Lord’s work.”
Three Hands of Haiti
Drew and Bishop Jean have a metaphor that guides their hopes and vision. It is a story of three hands. Those in the United States often see the Haitian people as the first part of the metaphor, but Bishop Jean’s vision is encouraging his flock to be the hands of the second and third parts.
- Hands Begging for Help
Hands extended to reach out and ask for help – that is not a life of dignity in their mind. The Diocese of Hinche desires to be self-sustaining, and they are diligently working to make that happen.
- Hands Working
The plan created with CLI fills that need and fills that desire for dignity by catalyzing the creation of income and sustainable revenue. Hands at work are where members of the diocese sees themselves now.
- Hands Giving
Bishop Jean says, “The day after tomorrow, we will be giving to others.” As the Diocese of Hinche strives to be successful in their work, they want to be blessed so that they are now giving from their hands.
“CLI is God's instrument to help the Church, in Haiti, in the U.S., everywhere.”
Last week, we read this beautiful quote from Bishop Jean.
Drew shares this moving follow up:
“CLI as God’s instrument for His Church – that’s why I serve on the Board of Catholic Leadership Institute… God loves the Church… He loves those who serve His Church. I feel called to love our bishops and to love our religious. I look at how hard they work and how little support they get in some of the ways they most need it. CLI fills that need. A priest friend told me when I joined the Board of Directors at CLI that CLI saved his priesthood. He wouldn’t be here as a priest if not for CLI – WOW, to be part of that is a gift. You can change the lives of the people who are called to be the leaders of His church. This is big.”
Advice to those Discerning a Call
Drew and Susan are a great team of philanthropists and servants for our Church. Their “yes” to so many calls from our Lord is inspiring. Drew’s advice to those discerning their own call to make a difference in the Catholic Church: “Just say YES. look at Mary – look what her yes brought to the world. You never know what your yes will bring. Taped to my computer is a verse from Psalm 23 – my cup overflows. Susan and I have been unduly blessed. We are serving the Lord and our cup is overflowing. We just want to collect the overflow from our cup and share it with others.
That sharing has made all the difference in the Diocese of Hinche as they march forward and share the Good News of our Lord, no matter what the dangers of their country may bring.
Bishop Jean says, “I have never met people like Drew and Susan. Drew used to say, ‘In God’s providence, there is no room for coincidence.’ Meeting Drew was God’s plan. He inspired me – Drew and Susan have been my friends for 16 years. When I look back, I realize that this is all part of God’s plan and they are God’s gifts to me personally and to me personally in Haiti. I thank God for them. I thank God for Drew and Susan. Thank you is not enough. I have never met people as generous as Drew and Susan. They are loyal people, generous people, they love the Church.”
In response, Drew shares: “We GET to be at Bishop Jean and the Diocese of Hinche’s side on this journey. That is a gift.”
We at Catholic Leadership Institute sincerely appreciate all of the wonderful philanthropists, leaders, and participants who allow us to journey with you. You are a gift to our ministry and our Church.