Global Outreach

History of CARITAS For Children in Haiti

Posted by Kollin Petrie on Jul 7, 2014 1:09:00 PM

Part III: Getting to Know the Shepherd

Catholic speaker Matthew Kelly tells a story about an incredible banquet that goes something like this:

There was once a glorious feast held in a castle in the outskirts of London. For entertainment, the host had invited England’s most famous Shakespearean actor to perform a series of the Bard’s writings. 
 
And after each performance, the crowd would erupt in thunderous applause. Having completed his show, the actor was urged to an encore, and so he chose to perform some requests.
 
An old priest timidly said to the actor, “I realize it’s not Shakespeare, but might you be willing to present for us the 23rd Psalm?”
 
One_of_the_school_boys
One of the school boys
 
The actor replied, "I would be happy to Father, on just one condition – that when I'm finished reciting the Psalm, you too, will recite it for us."
 
Clearly nervous, the humble priest hesitated before obliging. With that, the actor began in an eloquent, booming voice, "The Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want . . ."
 
When he finished, the whole crowd rose to their feet and offered him the longest and loudest ovation of the night.
 
When the banquet hall had finally quited down, the gentle priest rose and began more softly with the same words, "The Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want . . . "
 
As he finished and returned to his seat, the crowd sat silently  in awestruck wonder, many with tears in their eyes.
 
Seizing the moment, the actor returned to the stage and asked the audience, "Do you realize what you've just witnessed? What is the difference between my presentation and Father's? The difference is this: I know the Psalm. But Father, he knows the Shepherd."
 
Have you ever had the pleasure of attending the concert of a professional choir? Perhaps you can still hear their well-trained voices soaring in harmony, shaking the concert hall with swelling vibrato.
 
The Little Sisters of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Haiti are not professional singers, but they do know the Shepherd. Yes, they know Him Who is the Source of all music.
 
And when we heard them sing in harmony at Mass during our third trip to Haiti, we came to know Him too. 
 
nun-1Sr. Ludia
 
Yes, the Sisters are faithful witnesses to the love of God. They go to Mass every day, said in French. All of their schools are connected to a parish or a chapel. There was even a chapel in the infirmary, where the elderly or bedridden sisters stay. Hoping beyond hope, they sang too. As CARITAS Field Coordinator Scott Sroda described in a previous article, Sister Mary, who is blind, helped us see the Shepherd through her eyes of faith and her fearless singing.
 
During this third trip to Haiti, we traveled from Port-au-Prince to the Sisters’ mother house in Riviere Froide, and then to their convents in Ti Riviere and Marbial. At each stop we spent time continuing to build solidarity with the Sisters and helping them understand the mission of CARITAS.
 
As a Catholic Lay Apostolate, our goal is to develop global relationships that will impact faith locally. We aim to help people be Christ to one another and see Christ in each other as brothers and sisters.
 
For example, we fulfill our mission when a sponsor from the United States comes to know Christ Crucified through the unsteady handwriting of an orphaned Haitian child, who has used her newfound skills to thank the sponsor and to thank God.
 
Rich-and-girl
Fr. Richard LoBianco, CARITAS Director of Catholic Mission and Evangelization, along with Rosesmithe
 
As a Catholic Lay Apostolate, our goal is to develop global relationships that will impact faith locally. We aim to help people be Christ to one another and see Christ in each other as brothers and sisters.
 
For example, we fulfill our mission when a sponsor from the United States comes to know Christ Crucified through the unsteady handwriting of an orphaned Haitian child, who has used her newfound skills to thank the sponsor and to thank God.
 
Truly, we must thank God for the many concrete signs of growth we have seen in our Haiti program. Since we became involved in Haiti, we have:
  • Established 5 service locations
  • Contributed funds to rebuild the Sisters’ novitiate house
  • Created numerous global relationships that have made a local impact upon people's faith.
Haiti-mapLocation sites of CARITAS For Children's Haitian child sponsorship programs

By the time of our third trip, the number of children we were sponsoring in Haiti had grown and the program had developed to the point that we needed to have a person on the ground. Much of our time with the Sisters during this trip was dedicated to establishing and preparing for the important addition of a Location Coordinator to our team. Eventually we would be blessed to add Mr. Felix Joseph to our ministry efforts in this role in Haiti.

Felix-and-group-1Felix Joseph – CARITAS Location Coordinator in Haiti, Sr. Chantal Pierre – General Superior, PSST, Christopher Hoar – Founder of CARITAS For Children, and Sr. Marie Délivrine Lops – Secretary of Education, PSST

Chris-and-Magdala-older-768x1024Magdala, a year older with CARITAS For Children Founder, Chris Hoar

Since our last trip, Magdala (see Part II) and her companions had grown, and their fears and worries had diminished.
 
Indeed, the lives of many Haitian children have been changed by the CARTIAS program in Haiti, but they are not the only ones – our lives have been changed as well. We went to Haiti to bring the people hope and love, but we left with greater faith and stronger hope ourselves. We loved and were loved in return. We shared in God’s Love – caritas.
 
In the midst of poverty, we had found joy. In the midst of the smallest sheep, we had found the Shepherd, and we returned home with an undeniable confidence in the future of our program in Haiti.
 
Our ministry partners – the Little Sisters of St. Therese of the Child Jesus do such good work by educating the children so they can eventually help themselves and their communities. Sadly, the Sisters’ efforts are constantly limited by a lack of funds.
 
You can help change this reality. You can make a real and lasting difference. More importantly, you can get to know the Shepherd by building a relationship with one of His little sheep in Haiti.
 
Will you sponsor a CARITAS child today? 

girl-holding-pencilDear Little Flower, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us!

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