How we almost were killed last Tuesday….Read More
Dear Family and Friends,
I don't know if you have ever seen a child without a face.
The question is not rhetorical.
Childhood cancers have slowly disfigured and then slowly killed too many children, too often, in history.
Especially in impoverished countries where access to care is very limited, this is not ancient history, but all too recent.
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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")
Sr. Judy Dohner, Sister of the Humility of Mary, arrived at NPFS Haiti in 2002.
Poor Judy. None of us knew we were about to face the worst political and social violence we would ever know in our 30 years of work here.
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!
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
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