Flatbush Parish Hosts National Haitian Youth Rally

Tags: Brooklyn, NY, Entertainment, Faith, Inspiration, Queens, NY


More than 100 energetic youth from across the eastern seaboard, from Brooklyn and Boston spreading all the way to Washington D.C., gathered at Our Lady of Refuge in Flatbush Feb. 23 to participate in the annual Youth Rally sponsored by The National Center of the Haitian Apostolate and The Brooklyn Haitian Ministry. The 2019 theme was “Lead and Be Fruitful.”

“If they develop their faith, their leadership will develop,” said retired Auxiliary Bishop Guy Sansaricq who is the director of the diocese’s Haitian Apostolate. “This is a small percentage of our youth that we try our best to pray so that they can preserve the legacy of their parents, legacy of faith and of the Church. Because I think we don’t reach out to the majority of them. Therefore they need to be strong leaders.”

Developing the youth’s leadership skills through the eyes of faith meant a day filled with prayer, guest speakers, performances as well as a youth talk show and small group discussions. When it came to what the youth shared with their peers, topics ranged from their shared experiences being a young Haitian Catholic to the sacrifices made by their immigrant parents as well as the teens’ personal journeys navigating the waters of independence as they grow older.

Growing up with the youth in her parish, Stephanie Sica wanted to leave a positive influence on her younger family members. That’s what inspired her to become a youth leader at St. Jerome’s in Flatbush. She said the youth rally was a positive event for the youth in her community.

“It’s very important because as a Haitian-American, my family are immigrants of Haiti and to see youth get to know more about their families culture and meet kids from other states and to see if we are alike, and we all are alike, it’s great to see us come together and share our culture,” said Sica.

She was one of the panelists during the Youth Talk show who shared her wisdom and insight about growing up in a society filled with social media influences.

“I use my experiences to help youth understand that I understand what you’re going through and put myself in their shoes. We learn from each other.”