Dear Friend of the Passionists,
I am writing this Emergency Appeal for our Passionist Mission in Haiti, recently devastated by Hurricane Matthew, which claimed over 1,000 lives.
As a loyal friend of the Passionists, I know that you have a heart filled with love and compas- sion for our less fortunate brothers and sisters in Christ.
That is why we come to you in search of help. Many of you know that Hurricane Matthew destroyed homes and thousands of acres of lush vegetation and crops in one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere—Haiti. Hurricane Matthew has further compounded the existing crisis there. As these people live with cholera, malaria, AIDS and the zika virus, they are now left homeless, thirsty and hungry. Each day is a fight for them to survive.
Our Passionist priests, with the aid of helicopters, have witnessed the complete devastation of parts of this nation. Their goal is to bring food and water to places not easily accessible on foot or by vehicle. As our priests have traveled from Port-au-Prince to Dame-Marie, they have battled downed trees, mud, rocks and debris. A trip that would normally take seven to eight hours took eighteen hours!
Our priests have travelled by boat to various towns, since roads are blocked and bridges have collapsed. They have found people surviving on coconut water and the meat from dead carcasses. They cannot fish, since they have lost their boats and nets.
One of the priests encountered a woman carrying pieces of wood to try to rebuild. When asked how she was doing, she replied with such dignity, “I lost my house. I lost my husband. But I don’t have time to cry, because I have to go and cook for my child.”
PLEASE HELP OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS
The Passionists have a growing presence in Haiti and are currently building a residence to house our new Haitian seminarians. Our hope is that one day, native Haitian Passionists can assist us in this vital ministry.
Now that Hurricane Matthew has passed, the goal of the people is to start to rebuild their homes and their lives. The next step for our Passionist priests is to give our brothers and sisters the means to raise livestock, grow crops and fish.
So you see, we are a spiritual family. You have prayed with us and have prayed for us.
You have helped us in the past with your generous gifts. We hope and pray that you continue to help. Jesus told us that “the poor would always be with us.” Your support of our Haitian mission has given our Passionist priests the courage to continue on, even in the face of extreme danger.
I hope I have expressed my gratitude to you for the support you have given our Passionist Community. As we progress in our journey together, please pray for our brothers and sisters in need. And please remember, we are always praying for your spiritual and physical welfare.
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Father Edward L. Beck, C.P.,
Treasurer and Development Office