Twin Parish Relationships: How They Work

Children in Haiti participating in the Parish Twinnings ProgramWe invite you to join us in sharing our passion for possibilities for the countries we serve. When a decision to twin is made, a viable and loving relationship is established. This relationship then becomes a bridge whereby the love of God flows in both directions as parishes learn to care, share and pray for one another. Through the Twinning Program, a sister parish is chosen, and a relationship is established between a North American parish and a parish in a Caribbean country or Latin America. Both spiritual and financial support is offered. Linking (twinning) with a parish is a very simple process. A representative from your parish contacts the PTPA and requests information.

To contact PTPA about Haiti:

Theresa Patterson

By Mail:
Parish Twinning Program
309 Windemere Woods Dr.
Nashville, TN 37215

To Contact PTPA about Latin America (Etc.):

Gary Moore

By Mail:
1642 Journey Forth Trail
St. Paul, TX 75098-0480

If interested, you will receive a brochure on the Program. If further information is needed, arrangements can be made for a representative of the Program to give a presentation to the parish council, social action committee, or parish.

Once the decision sending funds to your twin parish is made, information on a specific twin parish is sent to you. This sister parish has been determined by PTPA and is based upon need and other factors. Included with this information is a resource notebook which provides much information such as establishing communication, sending funds to Haiti, ideas for facilitating relationships and fundraising, examples of successful twinnings, travel, sea container shipments, etc. Your sister parish will be informed of your intention to twin with their parish, and your contact information will be given to them as well.

There is not a contract or a written commitment for a twin parish relationship; instead, it is voluntary. There is no commitment to a specific amount of funds that you might wish to send. Whatever a parish can give, regardless of how much or how little, is of immense help.

Visits to the sister parish are strongly encouraged. These trips to visit your sister parish, the pastor and the community can be a great joy, an adventure and an extraordinary learning experience. They provide firsthand experience to view the needs of the people, their customs, culture and visits increase understanding and awareness. They keep your relationship alive and viable. Fact-finding trips are invaluable in helping to determine just what additional projects you may wish to pursue with you sister parish. Visits from the priest of your US twin parish also help to create a deepening bond and make it very real and personal.

Twice a year, the Twinning Program will obtain financial reports from both you and your twin parish and will send you a copy of their report to you so that you may ensure that all the money that was sent was indeed received and that any designations you might have placed about how to spend the money were followed. This shared information helps to establish good communication and accountability and encourages continued interest and support.

Funds are often sent to a twin parish for general purposes, but if you wish to designate the funds or part of the funds, typical examples include: a specific project at the church or in the community, specific teacher salaries, specific educational or medical supplies, a clinic or the salary of a particular medical staffer, etc.

Our Program is available to you with guidance and direction as a resource, an intermediary, a sounding board, or to generate ideas.

Should you decide to visit your twin parish, handouts on traveling, the language, the customs and much more can be provided to you. See the other links on this website under “Twinning” or under “Resources”. Also, Executive Director Theresa Patterson can travel with you to Haiti on your first visit. Frances Sosadeeter may be able to travel with you on your first trip to Latin America. Travel can be facilitated by the Program, including advice about accommodations, transportation and interpreters.

In Haiti, the Program manages “Matthew 25 House,” a hospitality house in Port-au-Prince where missioners with the Program often stay before, after, and during their visit to their sister parish.

Twinning with a parish from an underdeveloped country is a great privilege, an opportunity to experience the joy of giving and receiving. It is about rising to the call to demonstrate and manifest God’s love in action.

Join us to help make a difference.

PTPA Emphasizes:

  • Creating linkages to help sister parishes meet their religious, educational, medical and economic needs and to help them reach their own potential
  • Aiding sister parishes to build their own faith communities based on the peace and justice of the Gospel
  • Forming Christian bonds of love and support
  • Encouraging solidarity with the people of developing countries

PTPA Benefits Christians in North America by:

  • Helping them to become fully aware of their lives in relation to others through spiritual growth and fulfillment
  • Broadening their view and understanding of the global church and its place in the world
  • Raising the consciousness and sensitivity to the needs of the poor and less fortunate
  • Providing opportunities for hands-on lay involvement in the missions
  • Challenging them to a deeper faith and prayer life

This mission work is a unique way in which people can become involved in helping fellow Catholics in communities in less developed areas of the Caribbean and Latin America.