Eighth Anniversary of the Earthquake in Haiti, January 12, 2018

Dear Friends

Tomorrow, January 12th, we will remember the great devastation of the earthquake in Haiti eight years ago.

We will also remember all the extraordinary generosity and heroism that were generated by that massive tragedy.

We will remember those who died, especially Archbishop Serge Miot, Joseph Jean, the mother of Joanne Georges, Ryan Kloos, Molly Hightower, Muriel Jolivert and so many of our employees and their families, and upwards of 200,000 people whose souls and families we still pray for.

We will celebrate a memorial mass at St. Damien Hospital at 7 am and we will lay wreaths and our offer prayers for the living and the dead at 10 am, at our original St. Damien Hospital site in Petionville, where Ryan and Molly died. We will celebrate another memorial mass at 4 pm in Titanyin, the site of many of the mass graves.

We will remember the courage of our teams, working so hard while in grief and still wounded, and many of our employees who are missing limbs from that dreadful day, thanking God for their witness and asking God for the continued healing of memories for them, and all those in the country and beyond, who were so deeply traumatized those thirty-three seconds of trembling earth.

We will gratefully remember the leadership of Nebez and Augusnel, fast and coordinated action for relief of the wounded and the digging out of those trapped under fallen buildings; and the leadership of Kenson Kaas and Alfonso Leon for the program called Fr. Wasson's Angel's of Light to help the many homeless children lost from their parents; and the heroic work of St Damien Hospital reinforced by physicians and surgeons from around the world.

It was in response to that tragedy that the St. Luke Hospital came into being, which has evolved into an institution of remarkable service for the people in Haiti over these eight years.

I will remember my own mother, who died of cancer during those very days, who sent me back to Haiti from her deathbed, so that I could help rescue those trapped under fallen concrete and to care for the wounded, whose images on the television filled her with compassion and sorrow.

On January 12th, please join us in remembering the people of Haiti in prayer and solidarity, thanking God for the amazing goodness that was unleashed following the earthquake like torrents of grace. Let's pledge to keep working together for a brighter future for the Haitian people.

Fr Richard Frechette