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It is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness and I pronounce it as certain that there was never a genuinely great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.Benjamin Franklin
It is with great sadness that I share the passing of Father Francis Giudice who departed from us last week at the age of 92. As a profoundly good and virtuous man, Father exemplified the words of Benjamin Franklin. He will be greatly missed by many. His chose to live his long life walking the path beside humanity’s most needy and vulnerable – providing love and support. From opening health clinics for Providence’s poor to founding a school in Haiti, he left legacy of hope. In his beautifully written obituary, you can read more about his life’s work.
A Beautiful Friendship Brings Compassion to Many
Back in the late 1980s, my father, Pat Pezzelli, answered an ad in Providence Visitor placed by Father Giudice for a missionary trip to Haiti. My dad responded and made the arduous journey.Father and he became fast friends finding much in common: devotion to God, compassionate hearts, and a great love of their Italian heritage (food and wine included!). Upon their return, they formed Providence Haith Outreach. Fundraising started with the goal to build an orphanageon land in the village of Marigot they discovered during their trip. A few years later, my dad fell ill and passed away at 61 years old. Father approached me to assume my father’s fundraising efforts and within a few years we built the orphanage. We soon discovered that Marigot’s families wanted a school not an orphanage. The building was converted into the St. DominqueSchool, opening its doors for 50 elementary age children.
For over 30 years, my family and I were blessed to know Father Giudice and call him friend. Through the years, we worked together to nurture Providence Haith Outreach, an organization run by loyal volunteers. With God’s help, and through the generosity of many, we have grown each year. Today, the school feeds, clothes, and educates more than 700 Haitian children – from kindergarten through high school. We also built a cistern to that provides clean water to the entire village of Marigot. We have many exciting plans, and I am sure that Father Giudice will be there in spirit every step of the way.
A Prayer from Marigot
Some say that the measure of a man is how many lives he has touched. Father Giudice positively impacted so many, as we can read in this beautiful prayer from Father Andre, director of our school:
“I come, in my own name and on behalf of the educational community of the Presbyteral School of Saint Dominique of Marigot, to express my sympathies to you following the departure of Father Francis for the house of God.
This departure is an immense loss for his natural family and for the community of the charitable organization he founded, Providence Haiti Outreach, in favor of the poorest children of Haiti. Father Francis’s passing leaves a difficult void in your bosom. We liked him very much and we enjoyed working with him.
We will never cease to give thanks to God for the precious gift that Father Francis was for us and for the work of love that he gave him to carry out for the well-being and the development of children and young people. from Marigot / Haiti.
He leaves us the heritage of a life given to the service of the little ones.
Father, your name will remain engraved forever in the hearts of the children, families, and educators of the marigot community.
May the Lord grant you a hundredfold the reward of Heaven and give you to contemplate his face.
To us who mourn your departure, may the Lord, God of all comfort, comfort us and give us, following your example, to continue your work of charity.”
Fr. André Léveillé
Parish administrator of Marigot
Director of the Saint Dominique presbyteral school in Marigot
Father Giudice’s obituary can be read here.