From: "Kristine Stremel" <KStremel@redemptorists-denver.org>
Date: January 18, 2010 10:23:03 AM EST
Subject: FW: Haïti-Séisme_Jan 16
Many thanks to Fr. Gary Ziuraitis, who asked that we distribute this information about the Redemptorists and other Religious in Haiti.
NEWS OF RELIGIOUS FROM HAÏTI
Here is some news of a religious nature not published in the media.
In Port-au-Prince, we have two communities, St-Gérard with a Parish and St-Clément (rue Bois-Patate, Turgeau) with our professed students and seminarians.
All the confrères in Port-au-Prince, are safe and sound. One confrère, P. Jean-Max Walter Souverain C.Ss.R., superior in Guadeloupe, in Port-au-Prince for C.Ss.R meetings was wounded but after having had attention returned to his community. At present our confrères in Port-au-Prince are living in their respective houses.
Our Houses and Institutions : the monastery of St-Gérard is standing but damaged. The Church of St-Gérard is completely destroyed: only some parts of the walls remain and the roof of sheet metal. Our St-Gérard School (primary and secondary) collapsed with its 300 students and professors, almost all dead.
Sister Claudette Morin, a missionary of Christ-Roi, states that the area of Carrefour-Feuille, where St-Gérard is located has been razed.
Outside Port-au-Prince, we have three communities and one confrère living alone: the communities of Fonfrède and de Château - diocese of Cayes, 10 and 15 km from the town of Cayes, the community of Jérémie - St. Alphonsus House, for the Pre-Novitiate and Novitiate.
As regards the communities of Fonfrède and de Château, we have no contact or certain news. However we have received information that the quake was felt in Cayes, but caused little damage and no victims. We presume therefore that our confrères are safe. With regard to Jérémie, a friend called us yesterday with the news that all are well and suffered no damage. Most people did not know there had been an earthquake. The confrere living alone, P. Jean Bélisson Jecrois replaces P. Antonio Fèle in Belle-Fontaine in the mountains above Port-au-Prince. Communication is very difficult and we have no news of him but hope that he is safe.
The Montfortains have lost twelve of their seminarists in the ruins of CIFOR - an Institute of theology for religious of Haïti, where they had just finished a meeting with other seminarists including ours. The Redemptorists had left immediately on foot while the others were waiting for the car to bring them home. In addition their Church of St-Louis-Roi-de-France, near our house of St-Clément in Bois-Patate, collapsed on the people at prayer. No news of the number of victims or of the residence beside the Church. We have no news of their other communities and institutions.
The Oblates have also lost five seminarians in the same circumstances as the Montfortains.
The Holy Cross Priests seem to have been protected by Fr André, as well as all their seminarists and the same is true of the Sisters.
The Missionary Sisters of Christ the King seem all safe except for their sisters working in the hospital for lepers at Sigueneau (Léogâne) 15 km from Port-au-Prince, of whom there is no news.
The Major Seminary of Port-au-Prince, which serves all the dioceses of Haïti and which consists of a campus at Cazeau for philosophers and another at Turgeau for theologians has been completely destroyed. In Cazeau two seminarists are dead and five others among the ruins but there is no news from Turgeau.
Schools and Colleges destroyed: Collège Marie-Anne (Sisters of St-Anne), Collège Canado-Haïtien & École St-Jean-l'Évangéliste (Brothers of the Sacred Heart), Collège des Sœurs de la Charité de St-Louis à Bourdon, École St-Gérard (Redemptorists), etc.
Churches destroyed: in addition to the Cathedral of Port-au-Prince, the Church of St. Gérard at Carrefour-Feuilles (Redemptorists), the Church of St-Louis-Roi-de-France in Turgeau (Bois-Patate, Montfortains), etc... This is all the certain information I have but I am sure that there are many other churches in the same situation especially that of St. Anthony near the Cathedral.
The situation to the north of Port-au-Prince: if the earthquake was felt to the north of Haïti, it seems that there were no victims between Montrouis (near St-Marc) as far as Cap-Haïtien and on the north coast of Haïti. Therefore our Redemptoristine Sisters are safe.
South of Port-au-Prince: I have no news about the towns along the south coast of Haïti, including Grand'Anse with Jérémie. Jérémie in the south-west hardly felt the quake: more to the east is Cayes which felt it most but with no victims according to my information; still further east the town of Jacmel could be badly damaged and I have no information about the area near ther border with the Dominican Republic.
Finally, "if God does not build the house, in vain do the builders labour" (Ps.127). Prayer in faith and hope motivated by charity is the key to success of every work we undertake to be of help. Let us therefore remain united in prayer and solidarity.
Raymond Desjardins C.Ss.R.,
responsible for Redemptorist Missions