Wednesday, February 17, 2010

happy dance

In the midst of ashes and earthquakes, I'd like to share my good news: I passed all my GOE's (ordination exams).  And there was much rejoicing!  Maybe I really will be getting ordained in June.  Next step, get that autobiography updated, bring the materials in to the diocese tomorrow when I meet with the canon to the ordinary, and pray that the Diocesan Standing Committee approves us all!

economics tied to politics: Haiti's history with France

Well, well, after over 200 years, the French president has finally shown up in Haiti.   I have to say that this truly astounds me.  Does anyone know how long it took before the US and UK officials started visiting back and forth?  I'm glad to hear it has happened, though.  And better, much  more impressive news:  France has forgiven Haiti's debt!  That's what I call putting your money where your mouth is.  Anyone else out there??? 

But as the article points out, it's not entirely without reason, sheer grace, so to speak. It traces Haiti's history, beginning with the 1804 Revolution through which Haiti won its independence from France, and including the story of the astronomical sum they had Haiti pay them - "pay them back," that is, including the price of the slaves! Did the US have to do that for England?  The article explains:

"In 1825, crippled by the U.S.-led international embargo that was enforced by French warships, Haiti agreed to pay France 150 million francs in compensation for the lost ''property'' -- including slaves -- of French plantation owners.

By comparison, France sold the United States its immensely larger Louisiana Territory in 1803 for just 60 million francs. The amount for Haiti was later lowered to 90 million gold francs.

Haiti did not finish paying the debilitating debt -- which was swollen by massive interest payments to French and American banks -- until 1947.

But Haiti's wealth already was destroyed. It had been the world's richest colony, providing half the globe's sugar and other exports including coffee, cotton, hardwood and indigo that exceeded the value of everything produced in the United States in 1788.
By the early 1780s, half of Haiti's forests were gone, leading to the devastating erosion and extreme poverty that bedevils the country today."

The article says, "With an eye on that old grievance, France has already said it was canceling all of Haiti's 56 million euro (US$77 million) debt to Paris. The aid package also will include reconstruction money, emergency aid and $40 million in support for the Haitian government's budget."  

If you are not familiar with Haiti's history or the story of the relationship between these two countries, I'd suggest this article, as it covers a lot of ground.  You can read the full story about President Sarkozy's visit and the background to it here:  French President Sarkozy Arrives in Haiti - NYTimes

The photo here is of the Neg Mawon, a famous statue of a revolutionary blowing on a conch shell to signal others.   I found it here:

a small warning about scammers using the Bishop's name....

HAITI: Scammers continue to solicit donations fraudulently

By Mary Frances Schjonberg, February 12, 2010
[Episcopal News Service] For the second time in the month since a magnitude-7 earthquake decimated parts of Haiti on Jan. 12, evidence has surfaced of fraudulent emails soliciting money in the name of Episcopal Diocese of Haiti Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin.

The Rev. Lauren Stanley, an Episcopal Church-appointed missionary to Haiti and Duracin's liaison in the U.S., told ENS Feb. 12 that she learned of the latest scam from the Rev. Chris Dobson, ecumenical and global partnership officer for the Church of England's Diocese of Bristol. He reported receiving an e-mail that he suspected was not from Duracin because it listed a slightly different e-mail address than the one Dobson understood to be correct....

As most people who use e-mail know, fraudulent solicitations for money abound. Also on Feb. 12, the Rev. Pedaculi Birakengana, provincial secretary of the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi, and Rosemary Cottingham of the provincial communications office warned of e-mail purporting to be from Diocese of Buye Bishop Sixbert Macumi and Diocese of Muyinga Bishop Eraste Bigirimana.

The e-mails have errors in the addresses and text, the provincial officials said, and claim to be arranging care for Macumi's supposedly sick wife. They request between $2,800 and $3,950 to cover medical fees in Burundi or Uganda.
-- The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is national correspondent for the Episcopal News Service and Episcopal News Monthly editor.

The full article may be read here:

Pwoje Espwa in Les Cayes, Haiti

Just read an entry from the Pwoje Espwa website that I've followed on and off.  Fr. Marc does not find the NGO's very helpful... Sad.  They come along to make sure he is doing everything they think he should to take care of all those children, but can they offer a dime to help him take care of them?

Here is the Rev. Lauren Stanley's blog post about the organization Pwoje Espwa:
Pwoje Espwa - Hope in haiti

And here is the blurb about Pwoje Espwa from the top of their blog:

"This is one way of keeping up with what's happening in southern Haiti. Please consider helping us in our work with Haitian orphans and vulnerable children. Contributions can be sent to: Theo's Work 25422 Trabuco Road Suite 105-362 Lake Forest, CA 92630 Or Theo's Work, 2303 W. Market Street, Greensboro, NC 27403-1517 Or you can make a secure donation with a credit card at our website Thank you for helping us fight poverty in Haiti, one child at a time."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

marking a month with music

Sr. Anne Marie would understand: when she started the music program at Holy Trinity, it was because she knew it fed the soul.  Subsistence is essential, but we are whole persons.  Music is healing.

Here is a wonderful article about the interfaith service marking one month.  There are also stories from a teacher and trumpeter at Holy Trinity Music School and her students about the earthquake and its aftermath.

Jeanne Pocius looking over some of the instruments recovered from Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince

[Episcopal News Service] Amidst the ruins of their diocese and their nation, Haitian Episcopalians have found on-going hope in their music and art.

"Some things are too difficult to express in words," said Jeanne Pocius, a trumpet professor at the Diocese of Haiti's now-destroyed Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince, paraphrasing Victor Hugo. "You see people being absolutely stoic and when the music begins, the tears begin to flow. It's healing, it's a great medication. It's a gift of the Holy Spirit."

You can read the rest of the article here:

Haiti marks one-month anniversary of quake: Music, art offer hope to survivors
The article includes a link to audio excerpts as well.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Take, Lord, and receive
all my liberty,
my memory,
my understanding,
and my entire will --
all that I have and call my own.
You have given it
all to me.
To you, Lord,
I return it.
Everything is yours;
do with it
what you will.
Give me only your love
and your grace.
That is enough
for me.

--Ignatius of Loyola

Wikipedia, source of all unsubstantiated information, tells me that suscipe means "receive" and that Ignatius, in the composition of his prayer, was going back to an earlier tradition of monastic profession: self-offering to God in a form to which I, too, have been called.  It is, however, a prayer for all of us.
Another translation words it, "All that I am and all that I possess You have given me." Not only all I have, but all I am. Not only my stuff, not only my time and my energy, but my whole being, past, present, and future.

While looking for the words of the prayer, I found this video, which I've listened to over and over. I believe I am going to make this self-offering a primary focus of prayer this Lent, using this music in my meditation. I'd like to share it with you, too. The visuals are quite poor, so close your eyes and listen, and pray with the music if you feel so called.
"Take, Lord, Receive" by Paul Melley, Performed by St Ignatius College Prep Carpe Music Ministry, November 21, 2007

All I have and all I am is yours, Lord. Give me only your love and your grace. You are enough, more than enough. You are my abundant life.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori visits Haiti

"You have already had your Good Friday," says the Presiding Bishop to Bishop Duracin (ENS article).

The article linked above tells not only about the visit, but also gives the latest news.

Bishop J. Zache Duracin and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in front of the rubble of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince
(photo from the Episcopal News Service article linked above)

Monday, February 8, 2010

new web page and letter from the Diocese of Haiti

The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti has a new page up with a letter from its Special Crisis Commission.  It includes information and photos following the earthquake.  The photo of the professional school in Darbonne, in the entry below, is from that site, as is the photo I am uploading here of Sr. Marie Margaret at the tent city constructed on the College St Pierre soccer field. 

before and after - trade school in Darbonne

This is the professional/trade/vo-tech secondary school next door to the Rectory where I lived.  The building also held the school offices and the offices of the goat project connected with Global Health Action (mentioned in early entries).  It had a computer lab, a home ec department, and other classrooms.  I hope we can get it up and running again.  I am hoping to go speak with the Friends of Darbonne next month when they have their fundraiser.

(photo taken during my stay, summer 2009)

(photo from the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti website - link in entry above)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

post-earthquake video from Darbonne

I found on YouTube this post-earthquake  video from Darbonne, which includes footage from the church there and the tents that, as I expected, have been set up on the grounds.  You can also see one of the schools.  John Engle, the man narrating, has had ties to Darbonne since the 1980's and apparently attended the parish while there.  I thought I saw someone I knew a couple of times, but she kept turning her head just a bit too quickly for me to see for certain.  I hope it was; I'd love to know she's safe.

update 2/9- I have decided that it is, in fact, Mme Dorvilas from my parish committee! Yea!  Makes me feel so much better to have found one more person.  I also found out another person, Roselaine, is alive, but another, Brigitte, has died.  May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

article on Ian Douglas discussing his ties to Haiti

The Road Home: State's new Episcopal leader brings worldly perspective (video)- The New Haven Register - Serving New Haven, Connecticut

Ian Douglas is the bishop-elect of Connecticut and was until recently one of my professors.  In the 1980's, he lived in Darbonne, Leogane, Haiti, in the same rectory in which I lived last summer, and it was through his time there that he found his vocation to ordained ministry.  The article and video include discussion of those continuing ties.

Posted using ShareThis

(photo is from the newspaper article linked above)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Darbonne photos, part 2 - before the earthquake

In my blog entry of a few days ago, I posted photos of the school and church following the earthquake, but for the life of me, I couldn't get these two "before" photos to load.  Today, no problem. Go figure. 

I really do want you all to see what it looked like before the earthquake.  Haiti is so much more than a pile of rubble.  With all the negative commentary out there about Haiti, it seems to me that people need to know that Haiti is a beautiful country, worth caring for and rebuilding. 

I am happy to report that Willy, who is in the picture of the primary school here, and Alissa, who is in the church photo below, the little girl in blue, are both alive and well, though the buildings are not.  If you haven't seen the "after" photos, scroll down two entries.

Agape Flights - information for those wishing to donate material goods

Click on  to reach Agape Flights.
They post a DAILY list of the most needed items. The Sisters have used Agape Flights for many years. Their website says, "YES, Agape Flights is flying often and able to land in Port au Prince. Agape Flights' planes are being met by the missionaries we serve. The supplies are reaching the medical clinics, orphanages, schools, and churches through the 130 missionary families we regularly serve in PAP. Mike Labady, Agape's Emergency Field Director is on the ground in Port au Prince working to coordinate activities."

"We have a critical need for tents that can be used for shelter as well as back packs or duffel bags for the homeless in Haiti to have something to carry whatever belonging they might have with them. We are accepting back packs and duffel bags with supplies for those in Haiti. Back packs are for either a single female or a single male and the duffel bags are for families. Please be sure to label the bags accordingly for easier delivery and distribution!! All bags need canned/pouch meat, a blanket, a sheet, a towel, peanut butter, crackers/cookies, plate, fork, cup, 8 foot plastic rope, toothpaste, deodorant, small scissors, wipes, shampoo and bar soap in a baggie. If you are packing a bag for a female, please add some sanitary products or for a male, please add a razor. Family duffel bags just need double the amount of supplies."


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