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Diocese of Haiti instituting business practices

Diocese of Haiti instituting business practices


The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti is developing the administrative procedures that it will use as it begins to rebuild, according to a report given to the church’s Executive Council…. The Rev. Joseph Constant, the Rev. Rosemari Sullivan and Margareth Crosnier de Ballaistre each told the council June 15 that a protocol document spelling out procurement and disbursement policies as well as channels of communication is in the process of being finalized. An architect will soon be hired to coordinate and draft a request for proposals for the design and project management of a new Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Among the challenges the project faces, Constant said, is one of maintaining the partnership structure that has developed with an “appropriate level” Episcopal Church and diocesan controls. Related to that concern, Crosnier de Ballaistre told the council that there will be a workshop Aug. 22 in Port-au-Prince on Episcopal Church business practices.

[Bishop] Duracin and others have asked in the past for such a workshop and previously scheduled attempts had to be cancelled due to political upheaval in the country, she said. Language barriers prevented members of the diocese from participating in other such workshops run at the churchwide or provincial level, Crosnier de Ballaistre added.

In addition, Crosnier de Ballaistre said that “it became very clear that we needed to put in place some procedures and policies” after her office received an invoice for $160,000 for cathedral reconstruction work done by a group of architects. No one at the Episcopal Church Center knew that the work was being done, she said.

The scope of the cathedral rebuilding plan has changed from earlier suggestions. Constant said the new cathedral is slated to be built on land north of where the cathedral stood which was once occupied by the Holy Trinity primary and secondary schools. He later told council’s Word Mission Committee that because the Haitian government considered the cathedral a historic site, the diocese “cannot do exactly what we want with the footprint of the current cathedral,” but instead must be in talks with the government about the use of that portion of its land.

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