Update April 2024

Apr 24, 2024

Interview with Father Lamarre

Hello Friends of Haiti!

Kicking off the 2024 Student Sponsorship Campaign

We are thrilled to begin another student sponsorship fundraising campaign for the school community in Boucan-Carré. While the news coming out of Haiti paints a very bleak picture in the capital of Port au Prince, we are encouraged by the impact we have been able to make in the lives of students and teachers in the St. Michel Parish schools.


We cannot do this mission without your generous support! Ways to contribute to this year’s campaign are listed at the end.

We wanted to inspire you by sharing a recent conversation we had with Father Michelet Lamarre, the pastor of St. Michel Parish in Boucan-Carré. We asked him how things are going and what the support of Knoxville’s Haiti Outreach Program means to him and the community he faithfully serves.

Interview with Fr. Michelet Lamarre
Tell us a little about yourself.

I am from Lascahobas, in central Haiti, and come from a large family of 7 boys and 2 girls. I was ordained a priest on July 9, 2006 in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Hinche, by Bishop Louis Kebreau. I have been the pastor of St. Michel Parish for five years, since August 2019.

From very early on my childhood was marked by the desire to become a priest. I served at Mass shortly after my First Communion. At 15 years old after speaking to the pastor of the church he sent me to the Diocese for my First Formations. And from there, I pursued my dream and received formations to become a priest.

The news coming from Haiti is not good. How is the situation in Boucan-Carré?
Life is rather calm in Boucan-Carré. There is no violence. But it is a stressful situation what is happening in the capital.

As we begin the student sponsorship campaign in Knoxville, can you share how this fundraising has helped students and their families?

Some parents have several children to send to school and feed, up to 5 or 6 children. Without your support, they would not able to educate all their children. The cost of schooling (for uniforms, fees, books, etc.) are too high for many families. The parents are happy and always thank you for your help.

What are some examples of things that the schools can do that is not possible without donations from the Knoxville Haiti Outreach Program and other donations?

One area are teacher salaries. Teachers deserve more money; they deserve a reasonable salary allowing them to feed their family. Your support allows us to pay them about $2 per hour. It’s not enough. The need is great.

Another area we rely on donations for are student meals. Some of our students come from very far and leave home very early without eating anything. The school lunch (rice and beans) is often the only meal they have. With the cost of food rising significantly in recent years, this has put an enormous strain on our ability to continue to feed our students.

What are some of the “dream” needs for the schools?
We have a computer room and a library, but we don’t have computers nor books! Parents cannot afford to buy school books for their children and, as a result, teachers spend a lot of time copying notes on the board for the children. That’s amazing, but their time could be better served on the lessons if each student had a book to follow along with and to do their work in.

In closing, is there a particular Bible verse you like and guides you and that others may gain strength from?

My favorite Bible verse from my childhood until now is from the prophet Isaiah:
“Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you, and help you, and uphold you with my right hand of justice” (Isaiah, chapter 41, verse 10).

Student Sponsorship Campaign Details
Donation Levels: The lower-level amount covers tuition, books, and small daily meal. Additional donations go toward student uniforms, national test fees, salaries for 60 teachers and staff, and basic teaching supplies. See full details and donor levels HERE…
Donate what you can! Any amount helps!

Other ways to Donate:
In person: April 27-28 and May 4-5 after all Masses at the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart, Knoxville
Online: Scan QR code
Text Message: Text SHCGIFT to 800-950-9952
Mailing a check: Payable to Haiti Outreach Student Sponsorship, Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 417 Erin Drive, Suite 120, Knoxville, TN 37919.
Other Ways to Help:
We are always looking for volunteers! Contact Bill Fuller to volunteer after the Masses for the student sponsorship campaign, or Matt Webster for other volunteer opportunities.


Contact Us


Virginia Cotter
Email Viginia


Dr. Dean Mire
Email Dr Mire

Committee Chairman

Matt Webster
Email Matt