The entire Charismatic family stands in solidarity with the Oblates and the Church in Haiti. We are witnesses to the serious crisis in Haiti, which has been exacerbated by the recent waves of violence. Our hearts are with the people of Haiti, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time. Here is the testimony of the Provincial Superior of the Oblate Province of Haiti.

Misadventures of the Oblates in the city of Port-au-Prince in these last days.

The city of Port-au-Prince, which has been exposed to all kinds of problems since February 29, is subject to a situation that is far too delicate for its population and for us, the Oblates of the Western District in particular. We were in the middle of the annual retreat that was done in three branches at the same time, because of the impossibility of the confreres to travel far and because of the recrudescence of political violence by armed men. Helpless, we brought forward the end of the retreat by half a day to give the confreres time to return home and above all to avoid material damage and above the fear and terror that was developing in the corner of the provincial house.

No sooner had they left than our porter had received a stray projectile in our yard, which lodged in his pelvis. To take him to an emergency room and to undergo surgery after two days, it was necessary to have the help of the neighborhood policemen who organized themselves into a permanent vigilance brigade behind the fence wall of the provincial house because the street was occupied by gangsters, the corner was followed by drones, scouts who tracked down prey and most of the time it was religious men and women who were kidnapped to be freed for ransom, carrying much abuse in their being.

It must be said that these gentlemen want the big houses to be able to dominate the city and hide their crime. This means that we are between two large barriers in the middle of the streets. One is attached to our fence, just behind our wall that we have just repaired for cracks, to protect a nearby city. The other is 10 km from our entrance to block access to a possible passage because there is an open announcement on the web of their ostentatious arrival. These situations reveal our precariousness in the city, we have only divine protection.

All the religious communities in the area, since the kidnapping in our direction, have been locked up in their homes and we contact each other regularly to find out what is going on. We Oblates occupy the lowest part of our house or the lower part of the property for worship services.

In addition to the convalescing caretaker, we saw three cars from the community blocked by these men with our colleagues on their way back to the Plaine (a region located in the North of Port-au-Prince) to meet our 15 youngest who were stranded for many days without being able to go to school.  They managed to save their skin by abandoning the 3 cars not far from a rectory to reach their home in the turmoil. Others who were in the provinces to preach the retreats were unable to return to their posts because the flights were eliminated even on the appointed day.

We are almost thirty Oblates on the alert, and the resignation of the head of government has not yet brought any improvement for our corner of residence, there are still shootings, the streets are still closed, the banks are not working, the shopping malls are opening in secret, it is not easy for us to stock up on necessities that are decreasing in our small storage. We are counting the shortage of fuel and petroleum products and our movements are slow. As a result, we take the opportunity to put our documents in order and better arrange them as well as to secure them while waiting to digitize them. We have remained hopeful that some kind of peace will come so that we can continue our mission to walk with our people as witnesses of Jesus Christ. Despite the chaotic situation, we cannot lose hope. We follow Jesus on the way of the cross. It is not our choice of missionaries of the Good News?


Provincial of Haiti

(Photo by VaticanNews)