Monday, March 29, 2010

making a living creatively

I've just watched a very good video and thought I'd share it:

The Economy of a Tent City - Frontline

Definitely a different angle from most.  Both impressive and sad.

I understand that Frontline will be doing a special on Haiti tomorrow night, Tuesday.  Those of you who see this in time may want to tune in, though it sounds as though it won't be easy to watch and possibly not appropriate for small children. Here is the link to a review of that:

NYTimes Television Review - ‘The Quake’ - Despair Continues after Natural Disaster in Haiti

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Holy Week and Easter at St. Margaret's, April 1-4, 2010

Maundy Thursday  
6:00 PM Agape Meal
7:30 PM Liturgy of the Lord's Supper with footwashing
Followed by a vigil at the altar of repose until midnight

Good Friday
5:00 PM Good Friday Liturgy

Holy Saturday
12:00 Noon Holy Saturday Liturgy

Easter Sunday
4:30 AM The Great Vigil of Easter
followed by breakfast

Please call or email the Reservation Desk at the Boston Convent for the most current information on any of these events and to register.
(617) 445-8961 x127

Sunday, March 21, 2010

the remains of the cathedral

This is what is left of the interior of the cathedral, taken from the left front doors, looking toward what was the high altar.  Looks like they've done some real work on clearing the rubble. 

The convent is on the other side of that large tree. Wish I could see it...

Photo by Jeanne Pocius, used by permission.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

a conversation about Haiti at the convent - Saturday, May 1, 2010

With thanks to Mark Edington, who made a flyer like this for my visit with his students at Wellesley and then helped us adapt it for this event.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

prayers for travel mercies and ministry

Well, we sent Sr. Kethia, our youngest Haitian Sister, off to Port-au-Prince this morning.  The two of us got up pre-dawn and zipped over to Logan Airport through the lights that were still on night-blinking status rather than regular red-yellow-green.  Part of me wanted a few red lights between us and Logan; the other part of me wanted to offload a few items so I could crawl into her suitcase and go as well.  No, she wasn't scared, she told me, just excited.  She has a lot of energy, and I'm sure the wait up here has been very difficult for her. If my own inner first reaction was to want to find a plane to get down there immediately, what must hers have been?  I'm sure she's tougher than I am, too, which will help in the days ahead.  Even after a summer in Haiti, I'm still all too fond of hot showers and hot coffee in the morning.  Not to mention easily accessible potable water...

And yet, for all that, for all I know how hard it will be once I finally get there, and for all I do think I need more training before I go, I'm still feeling antsy to get there.  It will probably be well over a year at this point: once I graduate, I still need training in my first year of ordination.  And as Sr. Kethia pointed out to me, right now they are still in subsistence mode.  She kindly didn't say what she could have about how useful she can be in ways I cannot, but pointed out that there will be more opportunities later on.

I know this. We all know this.  

Well - some don't. 

But as Bishop Duracin pointed out, right now the need is for those with specialized skills.  Mine are not the ones they need just yet.  The time will come.  ("The time will come," the walrus said, "to talk of many things: of shoes and ships and Sisters' packs, relief supplies and rains."  OK, so maybe Louis Carroll was better at the rhyming thing...)

So we arrived at Logan in good time, all too short a journey, and more so for the conversation on the way.  Following much running around looking for change for the luggage cart, as the machine didn't take fives after all, we had a quick goodbye hug, and off she went...and then returned, laughing, with her down coat, before I'd even gotten into the car.  No, I don't suppose she'll be needing that in Port-au-Prince.

I suppose I've written all of the above simply as a means of saying that my heart has climbed into one of Sr. Kethia's bags and is on an American Airlines flight to Miami and on to Port-au-Prince.  It's in the bag with the flashlight, batteries, and journal I gave her - and the purple Peeps.  It's not a Purple Heart for her, but it's as close as she'll get for now.  May God bless her with safe travel and a good welcome when she gets there, and may God bless all the Sisters, Pere Samuel, and so many others as they work to rebuild their home.

Purple Peeps for Sr. Kethia

rebuilding, but oh so slowly

Sunday, March 7, 2010

letter from Bishop Duracin, Diocese of Haiti

March 5, 2010

86, Rue Rigaud Pétion-Ville, Haïti
Boite Postale 1309

MGR JEAN ZACHE DURACIN                                 BUREAU DIOCESAIN
Evêque d’Haïti                                                               Pétion-ville

‘The earthquake has not destroyed our hope in the future’

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Seven weeks after we were hit by the 7.0 earthquake on the Richter scale, the situation is still very serious in Haiti.

As you know, many people were killed, perhaps as many as 300,000. Thousands and thousands of others have been injured. In the Church, we have lost many people. Millions of Haitians have no place to live; many are sleeping in the streets in tents, and some of them still have not found any shelter at all. All the infrastructure of the country, as well as all the key institutions of the Diocese, have been destroyed, especially in the capital of Port au Prince. The situation is very difficult.

Many of our famous churches are gone, especially Holy Trinity Cathedral, which was not only a place of worship, but a place of culture. The Cathedral was a very important institution for the whole country. Yes, it has been physically destroyed, but our faith is still here and our communities are still alive. The earthquake has not destroyed our hope in the future. Despite the difficulties we face, many of our parishes have grown larger since the earthquake, because more and more people trust our Church and are turning to us for help spiritually, socially and morally.

We are still a strong Church and we will continue to work with you in partnership to be able to build up the Kingdom of God on earth through evangelism, education, health care and our development programs. We will work together to preach a holistic Gospel so that human beings may become more fully human in the face of God.

We will have to rebuild all of our communities. We in the Diocese are working very hard to have a Master Plan to replace the physical structures of the Church, so that we may continue to serve Haitian people with the same love, the same care, and the same support that we have always shown. Our mission will not change. We pray that God will continue to give us strength to do all this work despite so many difficulties. We ask you to please be patient and wait for our guidance as we put together this plan so that we can determine how our resources can be used most effectively. Once we have made our decisions, we will announce the plan. To assist us in using all of our resources in the best possible way, and to provide the best accounting of donations, I ask all of our partners in traditional programs to resume sending donations through the Partnership Program. The fastest and safest way to do this is by wiring the money into the Partnership Program account; the Rev. Kesner Ajax, Partnership Program Coordinator, can provide that information to any who require it.

I am grateful for all of the support and assistance of The Church Center and especially of the Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori. Her visit to us in February, even though it was short, gave us great strength here in Haiti, and I am deeply thankful for our time together. We appreciate very much the willingness of The Church Center to continue to work with us in the Master Plan to rebuild the Diocese.

In addition, I give thanks for the visit of The Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon, Bishop Suffragan of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, who is visiting right now on the Presiding Bishop’s behalf. I also give thanks to all of the bishops and dioceses of The Episcopal Church for their prayers and support, and for telling our story. Some of them have been directly involved in supporting me and my wife, Edithe, during our difficult time; all of our family is especially thankful for this.

Special thanks must be given to Episcopal Relief and Development; all of us are grateful for its assistance and work in providing us food, shelter, water, medicines and all other forms of support to help us survive these difficult times.

In addition, it was very good to receive The Most Rev. Thabo Cecil Makgoba, Primate of Cape Town, and The Rt. Rev. Laish Boyd, Bishop of Nassau and The Bahamas, who are visiting at this moment. I also give thanks to all other bishops and archbishops of the Anglican Communion who have expressed their support to us.

The earthquake of Jan. 12 was our baptism; now is our new creation. In this new creation, we pray to all work together, and we ask that you give us the time we need, first to care for our people, then to rebuild the Kingdom.

In this Lenten season, the season of repentance, conversion and intense prayers, we ask you to remember our Diocese and all the people of Haiti in this difficult moment. We also ask you to continue to support us by your prayers and your gifts, so that by Eastertide, we will be able to sing together with great joy, “Alleluia! He is Risen!”

I bid you my blessings for this holy season.


Mgr. Jean Zaché Duracin
Evêque d'Haïti