HANDS AND HEARTS WITH HAITI —Haiti Update Lent 2023 

“Small Things with Great Love.” St Therese of Lisieux 

Most, if not all of us, experienced some degree of anxiety, loneliness, and fear during the Pandemic. Initially we feared shopping in public, sending our kids to school, public events, going to work, public transportation, dining out and even going to Mass. Fear gripped many of us. It’s still fresh in our mind. Finally, we are breathing a sigh of relief and moving forward. 

Please take just a moment to remember the Covid fear of isolation, illness, loneliness and anxiety. That is the current state of feelings for most Haitians. They are living under fear and anxiety with no indication that it is going to change anytime soon. It’s constantly surrounding them. 

Two third (2/3) of Haiti is now under the control of heavily armed gangs including Port au Prince, the primary port for shipping and commerce. The proliferation of gangs and lack of good leadership make life impossible in several areas of the country. Peaceful citizens flee their homes empty handed running for their lives. Kidnapping, extortion, robbery, killing, and sexual violence is everywhere. Families who could leave, left for the rural areas to homelessness and extreme poverty. Daily, the rectory of our sister parish in Mirebalais receives people in search of food and shelter. Father Romel offers what he can but feels sad that it isn’t enough. 

Through all of this misery, Fr. Romel and our partners on the ground in Mirebalais, pray in hope. They do not feel alone and forgotten because they know God is journeying with them. God is placing people along their path to support and help them, to give them Hope! 

We are some of “those people” placed in their path. We are some of “those people” called to pray with them, to sacrifice on their behalf and to offer alms. 

Our earlier contributions built a school where none existed, provided a goat program that brings dignity and earnings so they can afford to send a child to school, send a sick family member

to a clinic, bury a loved one, buy a small parcel of land, buy seeds during planting seasons, or receive a small bag of beans and rice as they search for a home and a future. This is the Hope that reminds them they are not forgotten. That God loves them. It is “small things with great love”. It’s Hope! 

With so much sadness, turmoil, troubles throughout our world, we might be “tempted” to throw up our hands and say, it’s hopeless. It won’t make a difference! But to the child who now has a school, the family that can now trade goats to buy a small parcel of land, replace a leaking roof, put food on the table or the family fleeing the gang neighborhoods, in particular Port au Prince and Croix-des-Bouquets receiving a much-needed meal and clean water, IT MATTERS! 

Please this Lent pray, pray, pray. Pray that stability and peace may find its way into our world. That all hearts might be drawn closer to God and His Love for us. During our time of prayer and fasting may we reflect on the wisdom of St. Teresa of Calcutta, “Only in Heaven will we see how much we owe to the poor for helping us to love God better because of them.” 

Please continue to be that Hope for our sister parish in Haiti community and all the people that it serves during this unprecedented situation in Haiti. This Lent special Haiti donation envelopes are provided in parishioner packets or you can simply drop a check into the offertory basket at Mass. Please make checks out to Assumption Church and please put “Haiti” in the memo line. Donations are needed and appreciated throughout the year. Whatever size of your donation……It MATTERS! 

Thank you and God Bless. 

Hands and Hearts with Haiti