Week of January 7

01-07-2018AllFr. Andre Sylvestre

Dear Supporters of our St. Rose Haiti Mission Ministry,

Our team has been busy over the past month prepping for two teams to go to Haiti in a few weeks. Fr. Andre has hired a new doctor for the Clinic. Her name is Dr. Jenny-Flore Tania. She began working November 1, 2017. She is from Cap-Haitien. He also hired another nurse to replace a nurse who moved. The new nurse is Antoine Bibiane Pierre. Yva Etienne is now Chief of the Nursing. The staff at the Clinic is once again complete.

Our first team will head down to Haiti at the end of this month to do construction work at the school, replace a home in the community and begin the security wall around the medical area. This team has 6 members: Marla West, Mike Jones, Jean Harris, Susan Beernink, Alicia Russell and Mike Sheehan.

Our second team is our medical support group. They depart for Haiti after the first team leaves. On this team are Gloria Kane, Cathy and Grace Viers, Amy Cox, Dr. Enrique Martinez and Dr. Ricardo Casteñeda. They will see patients Fr. Andre has selected and they will do some surgical procedures in a new Operating Room. The new infirmary is complete and serves to take care of up to 10 patients who need observation overnight.

The Bishop and 15 priests came to Robillard to bless the new Infirmary with Mass followed by a reception. There were a number of special Advent activities that involved the entire parish as everyone prepared for Christmas. Santa Claus is not part of the culture in Haiti; the entire focus is on the birth of Christ and His humble beginnings.

January 1, is a major celebration in Haiti. It is set aside to celebrate the world's first and only successful slave revolution resulting in an independent nation. It dates all the way back to 1804 when Jean Jacques Dessalines officially declared Haiti an independent nation. Every household recalled a special soup the slaves cooked and served—but never ate—until their independence was won. The wife of national hero, Jean Jacques Dessalines, supposedly came up with the recipe which is now a national treasure. Soup Joumou has become a symbol of both Haiti's fight and her new-found freedom. Haitian families continue to usher in the New Year with a heightened sense of national pride as they gather together to celebrate their freedom and independence.