Pieta - When Demonstrations Cause Babies to Die

Pieta - When Demonstrations Cause Babies to Die

When I returned to St Damien Hospital at about 5pm yesterday afternoon, after spending the day buying medicines for our hospitals, there was a woman in the hallway holding a small child, and I sensed something was very wrong.
She was not crying, but her face revealed a restrained panic. 

Her one year old daughter, while seemingly asleep in her arms, was, to my eye, lifeless.
The child was dead, and this poor mother could not accept it.

This is the kind of thing that happens when roads are blocked with violence, when hatred rules the streets, when mothers are afraid to risk the roads with their sick children.

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The Fermenting of Wines and Revolutions, Fr. Rick Addresses the Political Situation in Haiti

The Fermenting of Wines and Revolutions, Fr. Rick Addresses the Political Situation in Haiti

Social and political tensions in Haiti have reached their flash points over the past number of months, and we have been living, with more intensity these days, what seems like the dangerous and cynical unraveling of a nation. 

The spiral of violence and destruction is both tragic and maddening.

The simply stated reason for all of this is that the cost of living has become impossible, 

in a country where it was already hard enough to stay alive.

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Fr. Rick Reflects on the 9th Anniversary of the Earthquake

Fr. Rick Reflects on the 9th Anniversary of the Earthquake

When Haiti was devastated by the infamous earthquake of 2010, the world had not seen a comparable disaster since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. It was also one of the first disasters in the age of the cell phone and instant messaging. The size of the disaster, and the ease of instant communication worldwide, sparked immediate and universal awareness, concern and mobilization to help the suffering.

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Christmas when Darkness seems Darker, a Letter from Fr. Rick

Christmas when Darkness seems Darker, a Letter from Fr. Rick

As Christians approach the revered celebration of the birth of Jesus, these words from a singer-poet illumine the meaning of Christmas, in a world and in a Church that are darkly and dangerously troubled:

Ring the bell that still can ring, 
sing the song that still can sing,
There's a crack in everything- 
that's how the light gets in.
(Leonard Cohen, "Anthem")

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Fr. Rick is turning 65!!

Fr. Rick is turning 65!!

As you've probably seen, the last few weeks in Port-au-Prince have been turbulent and trying. As usual, Father Rick and the team have been fighting through impossible obstacles and stretching to help as many possible.

In this trying and stressful moment, some birthday wishes and support sure would help!

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Easter Sunday: Carrying Forward the Flame of God's Light

Two baby girls were born. Alleluia!

The gift of life.

They are 9 days old today. Each of a different family and circumstance.

In one family, this baby is so very precious. All kinds of tiny baby wardrobe already fill the drawers, the bassinet is ready, the family glows with the light of new life. The name is carefully chosen, a christening is carefully planned. The life of this new bundle of joy is offered to God.

For the second baby, the circumstances of the mother changed during her pregnancy. Her husband has left her, she has no work, she is afraid. Where she lives is riddled with violent crime, even rape. Her baby is also very precious to her, but her life is full of desperate worries.

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Tenebrae and The Funeral of Jesus

Tenebrae and The Funeral of Jesus

Dear Family and Friends,

I remember when I was a child, I often heard my grandmother say, “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

After 39 years of priesthood, and 30 of these years as a priest and physician in Haiti, I am afraid I have seen plenty of people considerably and permanently wrecked by “what didn’t kill them.”

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Tending Haiti's Dead

Dear Friends

Catherine Porter, of The New York Times (Toronto) came to Haiti to capture the tragic circumstances of death, for so many poor an marginalized people.

It led her to discover that we have been burying destitute dead for many years.

I think her article has a lot of depth and insight. It also highlights the person of Raphael Louigene, a greatly admired and loved member of our leadership team here in Haiti.

I hope this article will give deeper insight into the sufferings of the Haitian people, and more compassion for people around the world whose lives are heavily burdened, and of course, the desire to help lift their load.

Merry Christmas, soon to come.

Fr Rick Frechette CP DO