Last Saturday was another big day in Sassier-the second this month. Last week we reported on the completion of the roof on the new Clinic. June 13 was Graduation Day for twenty 13th graders at College Pierre Toussaint and the whole town celebrated! Remember that 10 years ago, the highest grade offered at the Sassier Parish school was 5th Grade. Now for the third year, high school seniors were walking proudly down the church main aisle, with their beaming parents and families filling the pews.
Special Guest of Honor and Commencement Speaker was Fr. Edner Mars, founder of College Pierre Toussaint and former pastor of St. Jean Baptiste Parish in Sassier. Fr. Mars’ dream of a complete secondary school in this remote Haitian community energized the whole community. Fr. Tony Leolien, the current College President and Parish pastor, celebrated the Mass and presented a special award to Fr, Mars on behalf of the students and the community.
Thanks to the generosity of the Office of Black Ministry of the Archdiocese of New York, each of the graduates received a Venerable Pierre Toussaint Medallion and a graduation certificate, along with other mementos. In addition, seniors from Barrington High School in Illinois provided unique T-Shirts and wrist band for both 13th and 12th graders to wear on their end of year field trips.
In Sassier, school is cool; and these 13th graders are Rock Stars to the younger children and the future leaders in their community, their Church and their country. Thanks to our generous sponsors, education is transforming lives and engendering hope for everyone in Sassier. The College provides a high quality education to more than 375 secondary school students, some of whom walk an hour each way to receive the Gift of Education.