Almost three weeks after the terrible earthquake that struck Haiti on 14 August, leaving more than 2,000 dead and hundreds injured, the population continues to suffer from a lack of assistance and aid. Access to basic needs is still not guaranteed and, among the damage, many churches are destroyed or severely damaged.
“So far, we have not received any tents. People are sleeping on the ground. There is no water, no electricity, no food, no clothes,” Cardinal Chibly Langlois, bishop of the diocese of Les Cayes, told the local press two days ago, adding: “By a miracle, we have escaped unharmed, but many people have lost their lives, including Father Jacques Percy, a retired diocesan priest.
According to a first partial assessment, the diocese of Cayes has so far recorded 682 dead, 2,175 injured, about 11,500 houses damaged, and 111 churches destroyed. In the diocese of Jeremias, 26 churches have suffered serious damage, including the Saint-Louis Cathedral, while 11 have collapsed.
Scala News has received the testimony of Father Renold Antoine, C.Ss.R, Redemptorist Missionary, who informs us of a very particular initiative.
“In the absence of good coordination of aid distribution by the national government, and given the impossibility of reaching the most remote places that were devastated by the 14 August earthquake, Catholic parishioners in the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince are organising themselves to come to the aid of the victims in southern Haiti.
In recent weeks, in the Redemptorist parish of St Gerard, there has been an unusual wave of solidarity of parishioners to share what little they have with those who have lost everything and who need our help in these difficult times.
Young people from the various youth groups in the parish have been busy putting together food bags. This demonstration of solidarity and generosity is an implementation of Jesus’ words in the Gospel: “…I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you welcomed me. I was naked, and you clothed me, sick, and you cured me…”. (Mt 25:35-36).
We take advantage of this medium to thank all those who participated in this campaign to collect non-perishable food, hygiene items, clothes in good condition, blankets and sheets. May this display of generosity be contagious and reach all areas of the nation. Then may we unite as one people to save our common boat that is Haiti.
May our Mother of Perpetual Help, the Patroness of Haiti, intercede for us to continue walking together to reconcile the nation with itself and look to the future with hope!”
Fr. Renold Antoine, C.Ss.R.
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