Dedicated Volunteers Already Thinking of Christmas

August 11, 2017
The Social Justice Committee of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Committed to Making a Happy Christmas for the Children

In 2008, Catherine Hooper was walking on a beach in Cuba and struck up a conversation with a nurse from Ontario. She told Catherine about knitting vests for children in Honduras for an organization called World Accord. Recognizing that it would be an ideal project for members of her parish, Catherine expressed interest. Although she never saw the woman again, the knitting instructions were slipped under her door at the hotel. For the Social Justice Committee (SJC) of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Chateauguay, the adventure with Honduras began.

Later that year, a former member of the SJC was visiting her son in Peterborough who coincidentally lived down the street from FoHC co-founder, Dr. Jim McCallum. Another link to Honduras!

Catherine was inspired by an article in a newsletter about the Tree of Dreams started at St. Alphonsus Parish by FoHC co-founder Anne McCallum.

After a call to Allison Grierson, FoHC Office Manager, the SJC decided to share Christmas with the children of Nuevo Paraiso by putting up their own Tree of Dreams that Advent. From 2008 to 2016, the Parish has raised almost $15,000 and will be putting up their 10th tree this year.

Thank you OLPH Social Justice Committee Members! Members include from top left: Odette Pottie, Irene Gauthier, Catherine Hooper, Brenda Shanahan (MP for Chateauguay-Lacolle and former committee member), Margaret Campbell. Bottom left: Tess Agustin, Terry Ortiz, Sharon Murphy, and Angee Mercuri. Missing: Cecile Stewart and Erika Romwalter.

The work of the SJC is actively supported by the parish priest, Father Marceliano Serrato Herrera. He is originally from Columbia and knows of the needs of the poor in Central and South America.

Thank you to all of the members of the SJC and parishioners of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish for sharing with the children of Nuevo Paraiso.

If you are interested in your own Tree of Dreams please contact Allison Grierson at

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