Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Haiti 2013 - Evangelization, Medical Attention, Food Handout and the New Cassava Project

Sr. Felicity and Sr. Ann Kateri with Christian, their translator,
on one of the steep paths that wind through the neighborhood.
As I shared in the previous post, the Haiti mission trip has various components. In addition to the construction project, a medical team composed of several RNs, a nurse practitioner and a doctor saw over a thousand patients in the week we were there. This team comes back twice in between the larger January trips. In addition to working on one of the construction crews, I also served as priest-chaplain for the team, and celebrated morning Mass, and led evening Holy Hour for the friars and sisters and any interested lay team members who wanted to join us. For the second year in a row, I had the privilege of baptizing a Haitian infant, this time the daughter of one of the helpers in the medical clinic who asked nurse Sharon (below) to be the godmother.

Baptism at which Sharon, one of the regular nurses on the medical team, served as godmother.
The CFR Sisters who joined us for the trip worked pretty much full time in evangelization: among the patients waiting at the medical clinic, with students at the nearby Catholic school, in homes and on the streets.

Sr. Felicity and Sr. Ann Kateri distributing miraculous medals during a visit to the nearby school run by the Little Brothers of St. Therese, who hosted our team.

Another major aspect involved purchasing, packing and preparing a massive food distribution to 400+ families in the neighborhood. The afternoon of the food handout as many of the different crew members as were able worked together to help this activity run smoothly and peacefully.

400 families wait in line for the food distribution.
St. Therese Church, staffed by the Brothers who hosted us, is in the background.

All hands on deck for the food handout!
One additional special detour on this year's mission was a trip to Hinche (about a three hour's drive into the Haitian countryside), done at the suggestion of Br. Mano, the new superior of the Little Brothers of St. Therese. In Hinche, the Brothers have a cassava processing facility. The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, Franciscan Mission Outreach and Friar Suppliers have all pitched in to support a project in which the Little Brothers of St. Therese will designate a portion of their large tract of land in Hinche to be used free of charge  by impoverished families to cultivate cassava (seedlings and yokes of oxen to be provided), which can then be processed at the Brother's facility without any cost to the families.

Peeled cassava roots waiting to be pressed, dried and ground at the Brothers' facility.

A yoke of oxen to be used by poor families to prepare the soil for cassava planting.

Me with Jackinson (one of my fellow crew members) and his two daughters.

Charlie Moran, our team leader (in the yellow shirt), with the amazing construction team:
Greg (left), Alan (center) and Bernie (right).

Bernie with Fritznell, our construction crew translator.

The Friar Suppliers 2013 Haiti Mission Trip Franciscan contingent together with Charlie Moran, the miracle man.
Left to right: Br. Angelus, Sr. Felicity, Br. Crispin, Charlie, Fr. Herald, Sr. Ann Kateri, Br. Tansi.

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