Praise the Lord! We have been in Jacmel, Haiti since 2012 and so many good things have happened that we wanted to share a few stories with you! Join us on our journey and please keep us in your prayers as we keep you in our prayers.
Every Friday during Lent, we try to have our children and youth experience the Way of the Cross, using different media and reflections. We took the pictures the young kids had made and turned them into photos. We then found photos from the situations in Ukraine and in Haiti, using them to pray for both countries in war and insecurities.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you; because by your holy cross, you are redeeming the world!
On Tuesday, March 29, our teens and young adults gathered for a Lenten Season celebration of Reconciliation. Fr. Lesley and Fr. Andre listened to confessions. It is always a graced moment for us to share these sacred moments of mercy and healing.
On Monday, March 28, the water program was presented to women at the Mercedarian Sisters Clinic. Sr. Dorca had 19 women participate in the 3-hour program presented by Madam Omanie and Annette. Sisters Julitta and Marilyn assisted with the program.
Friday, March 25, Sisters Inga and Marilyn met with Madam Omani and Annette to prepare for “Water Servants that Give Life.” In this simple 3-hour program,a woman from a village is given a bucket and a filter, and she is trained how to share life-giving, clean water with others.
On Saturday, March 26, buckets needed to be prepared and washed, and filters were placed in the buckets.
On Friday, March 25 we joined the whole world in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to Mary, Queen of Peace. We stand together for world peace!
O Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, in this time of trial we turn to you. As our Mother, you love us and know us: no concern of our hearts is hidden from you. Mother of mercy, how often we have experienced your watchful care and your peaceful presence! You never cease to guide us to Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Yet we have strayed from that path of peace. We have forgotten the lesson learned from the tragedies of the last century, the sacrifice of the millions who fell in two world wars. We have disregarded the commitments we made as a community of nations. We have betrayed peoples’ dreams of peace and the hopes of the young. We grew sick with greed, we thought only of our own nations and their interests, we grew indifferent and caught up in our selfish needs and concerns. We chose to ignore God, to be satisfied with our illusions, to grow arrogant and aggressive, to suppress innocent lives and to stockpile weapons. We stopped being our neighbour’s keepers and stewards of our common home. We have ravaged the garden of the earth with war and by our sins we have broken the heart of our heavenly Father, who desires us to be brothers and sisters. We grew indifferent to everyone and everything except ourselves. Now with shame we cry out: Forgive us, Lord! Holy Mother, amid the misery of our sinfulness, amid our struggles and weaknesses, amid the mystery of iniquity that is evil and war, you remind us that God never abandons us, but continues to look upon us with love, ever ready to forgive us and raise us up to new life. He has given you to us and made your Immaculate Heart a refuge for the Church and for all humanity. By God’s gracious will, you are ever with us; even in the most troubled moments of our history, you are there to guide us with tender love. We now turn to you and knock at the door of your heart. We are your beloved children. In every age you make yourself known to us, calling us to conversion. At this dark hour, help us and grant us your comfort. Say to us once more: “Am I not here, I who am your Mother?” You are able to untie the knots of our hearts and of our times. In you we place our trust. We are confident that, especially in moments of trial, you will not be deaf to our supplication and will come to our aid. That is what you did at Cana in Galilee, when you interceded with Jesus and he worked the first of his signs. To preserve the joy of the wedding feast, you said to him: “They have no wine” (Jn 2:3). Now, O Mother, repeat those words and that prayer, for in our own day we have run out of the wine of hope, joy has fled, fraternity has faded. We have forgotten our humanity and squandered the gift of peace. We opened our hearts to violence and destructiveness. How greatly we need your maternal help! Therefore, O Mother, hear our prayer.Star of the Sea, do not let us be shipwrecked in the tempest of war.Ark of the New Covenant, inspire projects and paths of reconciliation.Queen of Heaven, restore God’s peace to the world.Eliminate hatred and the thirst for revenge, and teach us forgiveness.Free us from war, protect our world from the menace of nuclear weapons.Queen of the Rosary, make us realize our need to pray and to love.Queen of the Human Family, show people the path of fraternity.Queen of Peace, obtain peace for our world. O Mother, may your sorrowful plea stir our hardened hearts. May the tears you shed for us make this valley parched by our hatred blossom anew. Amid the thunder of weapons, may your prayer turn our thoughts to peace. May your maternal touch soothe those who suffer and flee from the rain of bombs. May your motherly embrace comfort those forced to leave their homes and their native land. May your Sorrowful Heart move us to compassion and inspire us to open our doors and to care for our brothers and sisters who are injured and cast aside. Holy Mother of God, as you stood beneath the cross, Jesus, seeing the disciple at your side, said: “Behold your son” (Jn 19:26). In this way he entrusted each of us to you. To the disciple, and to each of us, he said: “Behold, your Mother” (v. 27). Mother Mary, we now desire to welcome you into our lives and our history. At this hour, a weary and distraught humanity stands with you beneath the cross, needing to entrust itself to you and, through you, to consecrate itself to Christ. The people of Ukraine and Russia, who venerate you with great love, now turn to you, even as your heart beats with compassion for them and for all those peoples decimated by war, hunger, injustice and poverty. Therefore, Mother of God and our Mother, to your Immaculate Heart we solemnly entrust and consecrate ourselves, the Church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine. Accept this act that we carry out with confidence and love. Grant that war may end and peace spread throughout the world. The “Fiat” that arose from your heart opened the doors of history to the Prince of Peace. We trust that, through your heart, peace will dawn once more. To you we consecrate the future of the whole human family, the needs and expectations of every people, the anxieties and hopes of the world. Through your intercession, may God’s mercy be poured out on the earth and the gentle rhythm of peace return to mark our days. Our Lady of the “Fiat”, on whom the Holy Spirit descended, restore among us the harmony that comes from God. May you, our “living fountain of hope”, water the dryness of our hearts. In your womb Jesus took flesh; help us to foster the growth of communion. You once trod the streets of our world; lead us now on the paths of peace. Amen.
On Saturday, March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, we were invited for a Mass of Thanksgiving with our Mercedarian Sisters for their previous General Administration. We along with the Sisters of Notre Dame of the Annunciation were the invited guests with their volunteers for the Mass. it was a beautiful celebration.
On Tuesday, March 22, children from our last two Communion classes were invited for our annual Lenten Reconciliation Service. Thirty children were present for the celebration. Before the service began, Sr. Inga invited them to think of one person with whom they wanted to share God’s mercy and for whom they would pray. On a piece of paper, each child wrote the name of someone, and these were placed in a basket at the foot of the image of Divine Mercy. We offered this time of mercy and peace for an end to the war in Ukraine and for healing for Haiti.
On Friday, March 18, the Mother Angela Clinic team celebrated their 8th anniversary. However, the dream and planning actually began 9 years ago with the help of SM Giovanni Monge, who at the time was President of Angela Hospice. With her guidance and our faith that this could happen, eight years later we celebrate with joy all that the clinic has done and continues to do in the Diocese of Jacmel. With the help of many benefactors, especially Marybeth and Gavin O’Connor, we now visit 28 chapels in places where people are in most need of health care.
Fr. Bertrand, director of Caritas for the Diocese of Jacmel celebrated the Mass. After Mass everyone enjoyed a PowerPoint, created by Sisters Izzy and Marilyn, that took us through the years of remembering. Sisters Inga and Julitta made delicious cakes and quiche that all enjoyed after the Mass!
We have a tradition in the Felician Haiti Mission that during Lent we make our own Way of the Cross on our holy ground. This year, the kids made their own Stations of the Cross. On Friday, March 18, at 3 p.m. our journey began. We prayed for peace in the world, starting in ourselves, healing in Haiti, and for an end to the war in Ukraine.