It was five years ago today, on the feast of St. John Chrysostom, that we made our journey to Haiti to embrace the ministry of presence. In this morning’s responsorial psalm, we prayed:
“Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord and highly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable.
Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your might.
Making known to all your might and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations.” Psalm 145
We believe this scripture has been fulfilled in our living here in Haiti, especially in Jacmel. Our humble journey began in Port au Prince, where we lived in the house of Yvon Kerizon. We lived for a few months in one room. We were given many opportunities to meet with Bishops in different dioceses, to learn the language, and get to know the people and culture of our Haitian community. During these simple beginnings, we even experienced our first hurricane–Sandy.
We were invited to Jacmel by Bishop Launay Saturne, who gave us the second floor of a school building to begin the ministry of presence in Jacmel. The Lord was waiting for us here as He already had plans of what was to come: The Mother Angela Kitchen, Mother Angela Mobile Clinic, English instruction, the Pay-it-Forward program, assisting kids and teens to go to school, teaching women to read and write, sponsoring the “Water with Blessing” project, starting a teen choir, visiting homes, and, of course, introducing our Faith Formation program. We, too, are amazed at God’s grace, strength, and powerful presence in our midst. Thank you to all who accompany us with our Haitian brothers and sisters.