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.

Read More

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.”

Read More

Sanon's First Lent

Dear friends and family,

About two weeks ago, I received a phone call from two vintage friends, friends of 35 years, who called to ask me if I was dead.

They had heard a rumor, from a priest in Baltimore (my first assignment as a baby priest, back in 1979), that I had died in Haiti. 

Maybe that priest heard about the priest that was killed in Port au Prince in December, and thought it was me.

In any case, my friends were somewhat panicked.

When I saw the international number ringing on my phone, I did not want to answer it. Too often, long distance calls are bad news. I was panicked too.

Little did I know that the the bad news I would hear on the phone was about me and my demise.

Read More

Voices of Haiti in Miami, with the Andrea Bocelli Foundation

They have collected standing ovations everywhere, they have been the soundtrack of the “Lincoln Center Global Exchange”, they have sung at The United Nations for the royal family of Sweden, at the Teatro del Silenzio and for the Pope.

Through their performances they have, once again, given evidence of how art can be a powerful instrument of cooperation, a tool for the development of one’s own potential and an instrument to show the strength, the colors, and the positivity of a land.

In the heart of Miami, in the prestigious Frost School at the Miami University, the kids of the choir “Voices of Haiti” have been the stars of an exciting meeting with the students, a musical meeting where the singers have reciprocally sung for one another.

Read More

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

From Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving (and Isaiah to Isaiah)

Dear friends,

A little over a week ago, when I was driving across Port au Prince to help the Sisters in their clinic, I found a woman on the street in the grips of death.

She was entering a coma from eclampsia, in only her 8th month of pregnancy, and I had to act fast on her behalf, calling a friend at a private hospital to assure her a place. I paid a truck (tap-tap) to race her there, since I could not, in any way, fit her in my small off road "polaris", and there was no time to lose looking for an ambulance.

Read More