By Laetitia Palluat de Besset, President of Heart’s Home USA
In 2003, with a single community house in the Bronx, the American branch of Heart’s Home was launched. Ten years later, we are in awe at all the accomplishments of Heart’s Home USA.
Today, Heart’s Home USA serves 400 people in New York, recruits and trains ten to fifteen young Americans to go abroad in mission every year, offers a warm Catholic home for the students of Gonzaga University, sustains the life of 5 volunteers in Chile, welcomes more than 320 people per year for retreats, seminars and other events at the ICCC, and shares with countless people the light of its charism of compassion.
All this has been possible thanks to the efforts of many volunteers who have dedicated their time and strength to spread the word about Heart’s Home, to listen, console and be present one-on-one to all those in need of accompaniment in the face of the challenges of their lives.
It is also the fruit of the support of many friends. And today, I would like to thank in a very special way all those who have been part of this amazing work.
I want to mention first Rev. Thierry de Roucy, Founder of Heart’s Home, whose audacity and trust always push us further.
Aude H., who started Heart’s Home USA in New York with great courage. Serving as President of the Board and Executive Director for five years, she did an amazing job of building up strong foundations and giving a vigorous energy to the organization.
All the first Board Members: who trusted us enough to join in this adventure and support us in the early years: Patrick Baugier, Guillaume Bébéar, Pierre Bonnefil and Alexis Cazé: all their faithful help and support were crucial in our development.
The late Fr. Sepp, who opened wide the doors of his parish in the Bronx, as well as Fr. Joseph Franco, who has supported us from the start. Next, Bishop Caggiano and Msgr John Strynkowski have generously welcomed us in Brooklyn and assisted us in our mission.
Edward Adams, the first American who went on mission abroad and opened the road for many. Up to now, 60 have signed up for a year-long mission abroad. We are so grateful for their gift of themselves, for all the lives they have changed through their love and prayer.
Amy Koreski, for her amazing sense of belonging to our spiritual family and for the way she dared to be a forerunner in the States. She was the first one to enter the American branch of the Fraternity Maximilian Kolbe and to launch the first Heart’s Home on a college campus.
Catherine Kustusch, today novice with the Servants of God’s Presence, the first American to decide to become a consecrated member within our spiritual family.
All the volunteers and interns who came here. Among them, Segolene Bellat has played a major role. For three years, she did not spare her efforts to develop the organization.
Finally, there are many today who have been such faithful benefactors, supporters, friends! You are so many who open your doors and your hearts to the good news we want to bring. We are very grateful. With you, we want to continue the adventure, to multiply the Heart’s Home centers in the States and to witness many more lives being changed!