What began as two or three people meeting in our beautiful Outdoor Classroom at CFFL, and giving thanks for the opportunity to work in the fields, and among the animals, has now become the thriving community congregation of St Francis of Assisi – a group of 2-300 people of all ages. Recently, we celebrated the feast of St. Francis, the gentle and caring Saint known for his dedication to poverty, compassion and nature, and enjoyed a daylong celebration in his honor. Children and adults arrived dressed in their finest, and Sunday best. Father Fritz Lafontant, the visionary and namesake of CFFL, our vocational school, was resplendent in red vestment and joyful in the spirit and message of community engagement.
All the neatly attired young boys and girls recited scripture, listened intently to their Sunday School lessons, and scampered about in our celebration of thanks and devotion.
Adjacent to the outdoor classroom is Our St. Francis garden which has quite an upstate history. Many of our Christ Church Haiti visitors spent a hot, and sticky day on the CFFL campus hauling rocks, pouring cement, planting greenery and mapping out and preparing the little garden. The stately presence of our St. Francis statue, the centerpiece of our garden, is due to the intrepid packing skills of Christ Church’s Frances Poe, who safely shepherded St Francis all the way from Greenville to the central plateau in Haiti. Our building patrons will enjoy knowing that the work you did has become a lovely garden and quiet space where you can stroll several pathways and meet in the middle under the comforting eyes of the St. Francis statue we installed when you were here. It is the touchstone of our growing St. Francis community.