Local Palm Sunday Tradition Benefits People of Haiti
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Thousands of Christians are celebrating Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week.
Dozens of people who live in the 19th Ward celebrated Palm Sunday with a traditional breakfast that dates back 50 years.
Several churches of different denominations started the 19th Ward Palm Sunday Breakfast.
"Palm Sunday is, how we celebrate in our tradition, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem during a time that brought the community together. So in a way, I think that's what this breakfast is about, bring the community together and helping them move toward the good that can be done here," said Rev. Mary Ann Brody, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.
This year, the good is about helping the people of Haiti. It's an effort the event's guest speaker, Rochester City School Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard, appreciates because he has family there.
"The fact that my family was spared, I'm very grateful. But there's a lot of prayer we have to have for the people of Haiti,” said Brizard.
One-hundred-forty people feasted together Sunday to help raise close to $800. It is the first time the Palm Sunday breakfast proceeds will benefit a charity outside the local community. Money raised will go to Partners in Health for services in Haiti.
"We thought in view of the tragedy in Haiti, the enormous challenge to the second oldest republic in the western hemisphere and the fact that our guest speaker is from Haiti, it made sense," said Chris Lindley, event organizer.
Rev. Mary Ann Brody said the Rochester community can be counted on to help in times like this.
"We can respond out of generosity, and mercy, love and care or we can respond in fear and pull everything in," she said.
Every Palm Sunday, the 19th Ward community responds with generosity.
"I think what God asks us to do especially in the model of Jesus is to give and to give in ways that go beyond just disposable income but to give sacrificially," said Brody.