Felician Sisters Haiti Mission SM Inga Borko and S Marilyn Minter
On September 13, 2012 we left from Newark International Airport for Port au Prince, Haiti. We were met at the airport by Yvon Kernizan, a friend of the Felician Sisters, whose house of hospitality we will be staying our first few weeks.
September 14, the feast of the Triumph of the Cross, we went with Yvon to Croix de Bouquet to celebrate his aunt’s 100th birthday, the celebration began with Mass which made us very happy our first full day in Haiti.
After Mass there was a celebration with family and friends. All were welcome to the celebration. People from the streets stopped by food and fun. From there we went to Bon Repos to Fr. Gio’s orphanage and volunteer house to pick up some of the things we left in March. On the way back to Delmas we stopped we went to Digicel for our Haitian sim cards. Young people who work in Digicel know english.However, the challenge here and almost everywhere we go is the pace of work and life is much slower than what we are use to. We are learning there is no reason to be in such a hurry.
We called Fr Ron Joseph, who runs the Ministry of Presence with the Sisters of Charity, in Duval Roche, the place where we will live and study the language, plans were made to visit him on Saturday.
September 15, feast of the Sorrowful Mother, we made a few contacts through the internet to Bishops in Port au Prince, Jacmel, and Jeremie, the CLUNY Sisters, and Sr Mary Finnick at Matthew 25 . We are learning much from these contatcs, especially from the CLUNY Sisters who have been in Haiti over 200 years.
In the evening we went to Duval Roche to the Ministry of Presence where we will have our language program and be living for few months. We met with Fr. Ron who showed us the house that includes a chapel. He is in the process of building an orphanage for 50 children. We spent the night.when we arrived it was close to evening and praised God for the beautiful sunset. This was the hottest night of all, even the fan did not help.
September 16, we went to the 7 a.m. community Mass at St Louis the King parish. It was the second Mass of the day, the first begins at 5:30 a.m. The youth choir sounded beautiful. Fr. Ron introduced us to the Pastor. We returned home and shared chicken soup for breakfast as we met with Fr. Ron. He is a Haitian priest and is very helpful as we make our new beginnings for the mission in Haiti.
In the afternoon we returned to Delmas with Yvon and shared a scrumptious Haitian dinner. We have not expereinced hunger in Haiti. Everyday we pray for those who do not have what we have, for those who still live in tents. During our daily storms and rains we are thinking of those in tents and how they are surviving the night. Especially the tent city by the river on of Croix the way to Croix de Bouquet.
September 17, the feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis early in the morning we received a call from Bishop Launay Saturne, from the Diocese of Jacmel to confirm our appointment for Saturday, September 22. In this country you can call someone as early as 6:00 a.m. but no later than 8:00 p.m.
September 18 Today we were blest to go to the travel agent to pick up our plane tickets to Jeremie. Then we made a visit to the CLUNY SISTERS. Sister Yannick helped us to get in contact with the Office of the Archbishop to make an appointment to see him. Our appointment will be on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.
September 19 We met with Archbishop Poulard. We shared with him that we no longer will be in Bon Repos. We told him we will begin our language program at the end of October. The Archbishop welcomed us. We mentioned to him that we will be meeting with the Bishops in Jacmel and Jeremie. The meeting was very good and he encouraged us to go to Jacmel since there is not much religious presence. Jacmel is the diocese he founded and knows the great needs that are there. After our meeting he arranged for us to meet with Msgr Patrick Aris, Chancellor and Vicar for Religious. We gave him all the documents he requested from the Congregation. We were very pleased with these meetings. After our meetings we stopped by the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, as you see it remains the same as it was from the day of the earthquake. In the afternoon we spent two hours learning Creole. We hope to commit to this daily during these days of preparation. Bondye beni ou! (God bless you!)