Following the massive earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, the St. Paul parish in the mountain community of Furcy nearly doubled in size due to a flood of “earthquake refugees” fearful of continuing to live in urban Port au Prince and its environs. Under the pastoral leadership of Spiritan priest Fr. Habens Simon, CSSp, the parish undertook the construction of a new church large enough to accommodate the increased population.
Because of the long history of Spiritan service to the Church in Haiti through education and pastoral ministry, several prominent Haitian artists contributed their time and talent to design a functional worship space that serves not only the larger congregation, but will stand as a landmark of Haitian sacred art!
Albert Mangones, famous for his statue of the “Fugitive Slave” which stands across from the former site of Haiti’s national palace, designed a statue of Christ for the original church. His son Frederick Mangones contributed the design of the new church building. The most outstanding feature of the new church is the addition of 15 stained glass windows designed and executed by Patrick Vilaire, Haiti’s most celebrated living artist.
Rich in Mercy supported the production and installation of the windows through a generous grant
from the Bozzone Family Foundation of New Kensington, PA.
Vilaire, a research associate at the Smithsonian Institute, is an engineering and artistic genius best known for his metal and ceramic works and paintings. His windows depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments in a uniquely Haitian design that distinguishes the parish church of Furcy as a center of Haitian sacred art and witnesses to the deep religious faith of Haitian people and more than a century of service to the faith by the Spiritan religious congregation.
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