Parish Twinning Program of the Americas (PTPA) is the awesome project launched from a parish in Nashville, TN, by Harry Hosey and Theresa Patterson. In these early decades of the third millennium, it boasts over 300 twinning bonds between Catholic Churches in the USA with parishes in Haiti.
In the early delegations of HSNNE to Haiti, a hope was to inspire a traveler to consider getting their own church to twin.
Our legendary treasurer, Normand Varrier (now of happy memory), affectionately known as “Granpapa”, was for a time hired by PTPA as a recruiter of parish twins. He connected a handful from Paterson Diocese.
Father Jack recalls some success in his recruiting ventures. One night, when invited to speak to the Social Action Committee of Our Lady of Mercy, Park Ridge, Father Jack mentioned Haiti twinning as a concrete example of living out the ideals of Catholic Social Action. Father Jack counseled that was not a decision to be lightly taken, but in practice it would be a step in that direction to line up 2 or 3 parishioners to join a delegation to Haiti.
“Once they visit Haiti, I said, they will want to get involved.” Sure enough, Judy Reilly, the chairperson of that committee, signed up, went on a trip to Vallieres. OLM is twinned with the parish in Vallieres to this day!
One other recruiting effort was blessed during the year Father Jack served a temporary assignment at Presentation Church, Upper Saddle River, NJ. Staff member Joe Nuzzi was in attendance. Some months later. Father Jack joined him and several other parishioners on a trip to Cavaillon, which soon became the Presentation twin, quickly launching their project of building a much needed clinic!