Paul Kendrick '72 says:
October 29, 2009 at 2:20 pm
At 5:45 p.m. last evening, I received the following message (see below) from Dr. Mark Reed, a senior official at Fairfield University. Dr. Reed and I exchanged several emails during the past few weeks regarding a date and time for Dr. Reed, Rama Sudhaker and I to meet. We had originally decided upon October 19th, and then rescheduled our meeting until November 6th. Now, it appears, there will be no meeting at all.
It was my intention to focus our discussion on rescuing the hungry and homeless Haitian children who have been forced back into the streets of Cap Haitian because Project Pierre Toussaint is closed. For twelve years, the three major (and proud) financial sponsors of the Project were Fairfield University, The New England Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and the Order of Malta. Project Pierre Toussaint and Douglas Perlitz quickly became the darling of the University's Campus Ministry program. University officials at the highest levels took great delight in honoring and publicizing Perlitz and the Haiti Project. Sadly, the very hint of scandal has driven everyone away.
At our meeting, I had hoped to urge (it seems time for a much stronger word) Dr. Reed and Ms. Sudhaker into realizing that the University has an immediate obligation to assist the Project by raising money so that the Project can reopen and have time to get back on its feet.
Dr. Reed's concerns about lawyers and an independent inquiry are absolute nonsense (see his email). The kids in Haiti need help now — this very minute, in fact. It is quite remarkable to me that not one Fairfield University official has picked up the phone and called Michael McCooey, the Project's current board chairperson.
McCooey has been working diligently (and spending his own money) to keep the school in shape to reopen. It is beyond belief that neither President Jeffrey von Arx, S.J., Dr. Mark Reed, Rev. Michael Doody, S.J. (campus ministry), nor any other University official has contacted Mr. McCooey to say, "Let's get together for lunch. Let's talk about how we can once again help these kids."
Perhaps, we should raise our collective consciousness and focus on the essentials of a Jesuit education. If the service of our faith must include the promotion of justice, is it right and just for the University to abandon a project it helped nourish for so many years?
Fairfield University '72