Daily Archives: December 28, 2018

Christmas Day Celebration in the Felician Haiti Mission

The day finally arrived, the Nativity of our Lord, the birthday of Jesus. Our kids have been preparing all month for this special occasion of our salvation. First, it was preparing the food and decorations, then practice for the plays and the choir.

The choir and Christmas pageant was ready and, as the children gathered, the excitement filled the air.

The story of Birth of Jesus was told, and the children listened intently.

The kids prepared the story of the Good Samaritan and a modern-day version of welcoming the stranger and caring for one another.

After, there was some singing and dancing…

Then it was time for Christmas dinner, Christmas cookies, and soda.

All were so anxious for the moment when St. Nick would arrive with his gifts for all.

We are so grateful to the many people who helped us make this day a glorious celebration…our benefactors, Sisters, and friends. Thank you, Sr. Victoria, for sharing this Christmas with us here in Haiti. Thanks to Eric and his girls, Abby and Kaitlyn, for being with us to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas. And thanks to our teens, our youth group here in the Felician Mission, who gave of themselves the whole day in service.

After the kids left, the teens had their Christmas dinner and helped to clean up a bit. We ended this glorious day with the Celebration of the Eucharist with Fr. Dickenson our newly-ordained priest.

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Posted by on December 28, 2018 in Uncategorized


Celebrating Wigilia in Haiti

For days in advance, we prepared the traditional foods and anxiously awaited the moment when the first star, that appears in the eastern sky on Christmas Eve. For that was when the feast to commemorate the birth of the Christ Child began. Our little community gathered around the table.

There is always a thin layer of hay under the white tablecloth in memory of the Godchild in the manger. Before sitting down at the table, everyone broke the traditional wafer, or Oplatek and exchanged good wishes for health, wealth and happiness in the New Year. The Oplatek is a thin, unleavened wafer similar to the altar bread in the Roman Catholic Church. It is stamped with the figures of the Godchild, the blessed Mary, and the holy angels. The wafer is known as the bread of love…

The dinner itself differs from other evening meals in that the number of courses is fixed at seven, nine or eleven. A lighted candle in the windows symbolizes the hope that the Godchild, in the form of a stranger, may come to share the Wigilia and an extra place is set at the table for the unexpected guest. This belief stems from the ancient Polish adage, “A guest in the home is God in the home.”

The Wigilia is a meatless meal, no doubt the result of a long-time Church mandate that a strict fast and abstinence be observed on this day before Christmas. Although the Church laws have been revised and permit meat to be eaten on this day, the traditional meal remains meatless. Our traditional Wigilia menu included mushroom soup, boiled fried fish, pierogi, barszcz with little dumplings, dried fruit compote, poppyseed cake and pirnik , platek, and fruit salad.

After the meal gifts were shared with our guests.

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Posted by on December 28, 2018 in Uncategorized