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Haiti is only the size of Maryland, but traveling in this island nation warps my sense of time and distance.
Haitian President Jovenel Moïse has begun roadwork from Gonaïves, the capital of our department, where the national highway changes from asphalt to dirt, but no one is celebrating yet. Even as the roadwork crew smooths the road with huge tractors and lays the first layers of asphalt, people hold their praise until they see if this project will be finished in a manner that will greatly impact their ability to travel and, hence, improve their quality of life.
The Jean Marie Vincent Center, better known to locals as the Grepen Center because of its neighborhood zone, is run in collaboration between the Montfortian priests and the agronomy team of Caritas of the parish of Gros Morne.
At first glance, Grepen Center is a well-kept green place. But it is so much more than that. Tucked behind the guesthouses is a large tract of land bursting with agricultural projects and experimental gardens. The agronomy team is never idle.
Twenty years ago, I felt very happy because I felt that I had chosen correctly, I was right in the election I had made of my career and of my boy-friend. I was in the middle of obtaining my degree in Science of Communication and I had a stable relationship with my partner with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life. At that time we had been going together for a year and a half. What more did a young university girl need? Both elections had been made… it was just a question of time in order to form a family and to exercise my career.
I am Lizbeth; I would like to share with you how my vocation process took place. The Holy Week Mission when I was 20 years old, was one of my founding experiences, in which my thoughts, my emotions and sentiments sharpened, became more acute and concern and interest emerged in me for something more in my daily life.
I am, Middia and I am 27 years old; I was born in Haiti and I am the oldest child in a family of four children. My parents are very religious and through them I discovered God and they led me to be closer to Him by the witness of their life. The first time that I heard speak about vocation I was in the fifth grade of primary school, when the Director, a priest, asked the class: What do you want to be when you are older?... and I answered: a Nun- But for me, at that time this was just one more answer among thousand others.
I was an 18 year old girl, had just entered the Normal School of Specialization; I had a stable relationship with a boy was engaged and in love. For me, there was no other future than to form a home, a family. I could not even imagine anything different. Nevertheless, God burst into my life, with great respect, asking me my consent which I gave to Him and I am grateful for this up to the present time. I consider that all this was a path, a process, a whole series of events and moments in which God manifested Himself, inviting me to follow Him.
St. Claudine Thévenet, foundress of the Religious of Jesus and Mary, encouraged the sisters in her community to live this excerpt from the Pious Association of the Sacred Heart's Rule of Life: "When we go alone on a long and difficult journey, we soon grow weary ... on the contrary, when several go together, they walk with assurance, courage, and fresh support."
Bearing this in mind, St. Claudine sent the sisters out on mission, and the Religious of Jesus and Mary remain a mission community 200 years after their founding.
STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN WALKOUT
Last week, WSG stood with students across the country in speaking out against gun violence in schools. Our participation in the 17-minute walkout was initiated by one of our 7th grade students. We are so proud of our students for standing up for what they believe in and for doing so with exceptional grace and maturity.
Geri Lanham, a 2nd year Quest-Volunteer for Haiti, brings to our consciousness that the ability to attend school is not something we should take for granted. Receiving an education in Haiti is “a lifeline for many families… Lekó Jezi-Mari started under a mango tree in 1998.” Little by little, the bird builds its nest…
The church was filled with relatives, friends and parishioners. From Plainville Sisters Diane Dube, and Pauline Ayotte, from NY Sisters Norene Costa and Christine Carrigg, from Swansea Sr. Antoinette Gamache, from Lincoln, RI Sisters Mary and Jackie Crepeau came to join the St. Timothy community. There would have been five more, but the pouring rain (sleet farther north) prevented them from travelling.