Celebrating 50 years
Of community development in Ocoa
ADESJO visitors with Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School students and teachers at the Walk with Christ, Justice for the Poor pilgrimage in Hamilton, Ontario, October 23, 2012. Back row: Antonio, Santa, Milquelis, and Angiolo; Ernestina Sepulveda, Filomena Tassi-Oliver and Antioco Puddu of Bishop Tonnos School; Sr. Teofila (a Hospitaller Sister in Ocoa), JinYou Hong, Marcella Munoz, Alexa Chavez, Chicho (Exec. Dir. of ADESJO), and Sara Belanger. Forefront: Fredy, Manolo (President of ADESJO), Padre Jesus.
Last October, nine members of ADESJO, the Association for the Development of San José de Ocoa in the Dominican Republic, visited Hamilton, Ontario, to celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary with their friends in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB). Founded in 1962 by Fr. Joe Curcio and continued by Fr. Lou Quinn (inset), both Scarboro missionaries, ADESJO (pronounced aDAYho) has supported sustainable development through reforestation projects and the building of roads, aqueducts, homes, schools, and health clinics. For the last number of years, students from St. Mary and Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary Schools in Hamilton have been traveling to Ocoa to take part in ADESJO projects through the Dominican Republic Education and Medical Support Program (D.R.E.A.M.S.). This has been a long and graced partnership between ADESJO, D.R.E.A.M.S. and the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board.
During their six day visit to Canada, the ADESJO guests were welcomed at Scarboro Missions’ central house in Scarborough, Ontario, and at elementary and secondary schools in Hamilton. They enjoyed a visit to Niagara Falls and a ride on the Maid of the Mist. They were celebrated at a banquet commemorating ADESJO’s 50th anniversary with 250 D.R.E.A.M.S. students, alumni, staff, and supporters in attendance and with Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton Diocese giving the keynote address. The ADESJO guests also joined 3,700 students and staff at Sunday Mass with Bishop Crosby, after which all took part in the Board’s ninth annual Walk with Christ, Justice for the Poor pilgrimage, walking in solidarity with those living in poverty around the globe.