|Fr. Joe Corriveau is working to rebuild a Haitian church.|
Fr. Joe Corriveau and his friends in Winthrop, Me., are working to raise $250,000 to rebuild St. Anthony of Padua Church in Haiti. Corriveau, who was born in Winthrop, was a pastor at St. Anthony of Padua in 2010 when an earthquake destroyed the church and the country surrounding it. According to the Red Cross, the earthquake killed 222,570 people, injured 300,572, and displaced 2.3 million people.
Corriveau, who is back in the United States for medical treatment, says the people of St. Anthony of Padua are still using a makeshift chapel of canvas and tin while they wait for a new church.
He says he is anxious to get back to Haiti and help new priests and missionaries that have been sent to the country. “I’m getting up there in age, and my hip doesn’t permit me to climb mountains any more. They put a younger priest there in my place and also put a seminarian there to get used to missionary work. I’m still attached to the parish because the young priest doesn’t have all the help that he needs,” Corriveau said.
So far, St. Michael’s Parish in Winthrop has raised $60,000 to help fund the new church. “We’ve always helped (Corriveau) out if there is any way we could help him," said Liz King, one of the people leading the project.
Corriveau understands how lucky he is to have the support of his friends and family in the United States. “The parish has been very generous and the men’s club very generous, and that’s how we’ve been keeping the (Haitian) parish open,” he said.
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