Paul-Fils B. Belotte, S.J., 36, was born in Mombin-Crochu, Haiti. The fourth of six children, he and his family were active in the Catholic faith, and throughout his childhood he participated in parish life. He discovered the Society of Jesus through a cousin who is a Jesuit; while attending his cousin’s ordination, Belotte began thinking about religious life. He was struck by the Jesuits’ simple lifestyle and their proximity to the poor. After graduating high school in 2001, he spent a year with the Community of St. Ignatius in Canapé-Vert, where he became accustomed to community life while teaching in an elementary school for impoverished children. In 2004, Belotte entered the Jesuits and as a novice worked on a batey, a banana plantation, in the Dominican Republic. There he worked alongside poor and marginalized Haitian and Dominican workers; this allowed him to have contact with the daily reality of the poor and discover the face of Christ through them. Belotte next studied philosophy at the Pedro Francisco Bono Institute in the Dominican Republic, graduating in 2010 with a degree in philosophy and humanities. He then served as assistant in communications at the Haiti-Dominican Republic border for Solidarite- Fwontalye (Solidarity at the Border), part of Service Jésuite aux Migrants (Jesuit Migrant Service), which advocates for Haitian migrants’ rights and works with grassroots groups in the area. This ministry alongside the most vulnerable strengthened Belotte’s desire to serve God through the poor and to speak up for the respect and the dignity of every human life. In 2012, he went to Quebec City to study theology at Université Laval, graduating in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in theology. He was ordained a deacon in August 2016 and then began studies at the Institut de Formation Humaine Intégrale in Montreal, where he received a certificate in psychological accompaniment this past May. Throughout his time in Canada, Belotte worked with the local Haitian communities. He will celebrate his first Mass as a priest at the Church of Notre-Dame de la Délivrance in Mombin-Crochu, and his first assignment will be with the Jesuit Migrant Service in Port-au-Prince. (French Canada Province)
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Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House
Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House, located in Grand Coteau, La., has provided a beautiful setting for retreats since 1938.