Bridges, December 13, 2019


Bridget O’Driscoll , O.P. came for a month’s visit to Jean Rabel in November 2017 “as a volunteer, not a guest “ she insisted!

She had already spent 22 years in Brazil and returned to Ireland.  In Brazil she was a regional and diocesan coordinator of a program called, Pastoral de Crianca.  The program focused on the accompaniment of pregnant women and children up until the age of 6.  It was instrumental in greatly reducing the number of infant mortalities in Brazil.

While in Jean Rabel, she observed that an unnatural number of mothers and babies died within a very small area.  She was invited and agreed to come to Jean Rabel to establish the program in its local communities.

Over the next 15 months, she established 8 voluntary groups that are up and running today. It was not easy!  She was quick to learn the creole language, supplementing with wit, love, and laughter!  She then recruited 36 volunteer participants for the first week long formation (left) conducted by Fr. Honore. She forged ahead despite national administrative and local church obstacles.  She also had able assistance in Paloma Peñas Dendariena who accompanied her on many of the house visits and monthly celebrations.

Bridget also gave English classes and insightful educational advice on how best to access resources and improve the quality of education.  In the photo on the right, you will note the program’s inspiration on the tee shirts is John 10:10, “that they may have life and have it to the full.”

Bridget always had a element of fun in her visits.  Here Bridget and Franzina, Pastoral Agent, are setting out on mission.

She was a wonderful community companion enriching us with her

Dominican heritage, wisdom and practical household tips — not just in words but more in action. She is a woman, passionate about justice and the practice of it in our lives.

In spite of grave family concerns, she made the brave decision to return for the last 3 months to complete her mission here in northwestern Haiti.

We thank you, Bridget, for your generosity and commitment. We wish you health and happiness, ever mindful of family and community.  St. Dominic has a special spot in our daily prayer!  A BIG Welcome awaits you if you ever decide to come again to Jean Rabel “as a guest or a volunteer!”

– Sr. Rose Kelly, RJM

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