Mother Mary Angela told her daughters to serve where they are needed. This seems to be the motto of the Mother Angela Clinic, which travels to places where no healthcare facilities are available for miles. On Thursday, January 14, Sister Marilyn went with the clinic to Lavyal. It is a beautiful place up in the mountains. The air is very clear and at least 10 degrees cooler than in Jacmel. At this site, we use the National school building. In each area where we serve the illnesses are different, but all are very serious. So many thoughts go through our minds as we visit each place. In Lavyal, vegetables grow in abundance, and women practice the art of basket weaving to use to sort beans and corn or to place products to sell. Before the clinic starts, Sister Marilyn loves to talk to the people nearby.
On Wednesday, January 6, Faith Formation resumed in the Felician Mission. We now have two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The Church calendar celebrated the feast of Epiphany this past Sunday and, on Monday, we blessed the House. But today, the 6th, is known as the Feast of the Three Kings. The children gathered in groups in our Chapel to see the Wise Men and were asked what gift they could bring to Jesus. We spoke about giving ourselves to God and to one another in faith and how we can be peacemakers in our troubled, sick world.
On Monday, January 4, sewing classes resumed with Sr. Izzy. Today the students learned how to cut patterns and measure material. As you can see, everyone is enjoying the classes!
On January 2, we were blest to have the Mercidarian Sisters from Wout Lavale for an afternoon of prayer, food and sharing. January 1 and 2 are special holidays here in Haiti. The sisters are originally from the Dominican Republic. Their mission is a medical clinic, which they have run in the Diocese for 18 years. During the time we were quarantined this past March, April and May, the sisters were asked to return to their motherhouse in Santo Domingo. During their absence, the Mother Angela Clinic went to assist the sick people they normally served. Sister Madeline, who is Haitian, had helped us to make contacts in the Dominican Republic in order to purchase medications.
Since none of them drive, we needed to pick them up at their Mission, which is a half hour from Jacmel.
The program for the day continued with some stories, songs and dancing!
Like Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Angels, the Shepherds, and the Three Kings, we saw God’s faithfulness because of you. Because of your generosity and always remembering the Felician Haiti Mission, we and our kids have seen God’s blessings in 2020. We continue to dream, not only for ourselves, but for our Haitian brothers and sisters!
As morning dawn entered the world, especially here in the Felician Haiti Mission, the joy of Christmas was already filling the air. We began with prayer and praise :
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, as we are bathed in the new radiance of your incarnate Word,
the light of faith, which illumines our minds,
may also shine through in our deeds.
After prayer and breakfast, it was down to work, putting over 200 packages under and around the Christmas tree.
It was like the Scriptures were being fulfilled in our hearing: “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us. So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.” (Luke 2:15-16) This certainly was true here in the Felician Haiti Mission.
The day’s program was led by youth and young adults who directed the program from beginning to end. As always, we began with prayer. Our prayer on this day is always the story of the birth of Jesus!
On Christmas Eve, preparations focus on our traditional Wigilia celebration. As with everything, we had to start the preparations ahead of time, so only the last-minute dishes of fish, pierogi, and borsch soup were being baked and cooked. The decorations for the feast were done, and all was ready for sharing the Christmas wafer of pardon and peace. It was a joy to have Eric and his beautiful family with us for this sacred time of sharing and gratitude for the blessings and challenges of the past year.
Abby and Kaitlyn were there to help.
The STAR was doing the leading and guiding as preparations were being done in readiness for the Nativity of our Lord, JESUS CHRIST. By the end of the day, we had about 200 kids signed up for the feast. Some more gifts needed to be prepared; a count was taken to be sure that the cookies and candy would feed them all; and a check was made that the decorations would be finished.
Everyday, we have the opportunity to encounter Christ in one way or another, through our prayer and community, as well as a simple ring of the bell and knock at the gate. Every month, we get a visit from a very poor woman and her three children. Sometimes they come hungry, always in tattered and dirty clothes, and usually sick. This time it was all of the above; they were totally in need. We looked at each other and agreed: This is Christmas; Christ coming to our door and asking us to be sister and servant.
It has become a tradition at the Felician Mission that, on the Sunday before Christmas, we have a special prayer and dinner for our employees. It is a joy for us to celebrate with those who accompany us in serving the poor.
On Sunday, December 20, all those who share the mission with us came for the celebration. The Mother Angela Clinic Team; our cook for the Mother Angela Kitchen; our other workers, together with their spouses and children, joined in a wonderful afternoon of sharing the meaning of Christmas.
As always, we began with prayer and the tradition of sharing the sacred Christmas Wafer. The Word of God was shared from the Gospel of Luke, proclaiming the birth of Christ! Sister Inga shared the meaning of the Christmas Wafer and how we in our Felician family share wishes of peace, love and forgiveness. Being mindful of the COVID-19 virus we broke the wafer in pieces and placed them on individual plates. After using hand sanitizer we shared the wafer taking it from each others plates.