ANNIVERSARY OF “PAS-À-PAS” ON THE FEAST OF SAINTE CLAUDINE
During the preparations for the feast of our holy patron, a phrase that was dear to Claudine set a rhythm in our heart and gave us strength during this whole time of uncertainties and difficulties: “God will Provide”.
Anguish and insecurity is paralyzing our life and our country. We go from crisis to crisis: humanitarian, social-political, economic crises to cite some of them. The situation is getting worse on a daily basis and fear lives in the hearts of all the people. Certain schools are forced to close their doors for the protection of the children. Spontaneous demonstrations fill the streets despite the threats of Covid-19, and cries are made to: “Simply be able to live in security, have electricity in the country, have the satisfaction of food, the ability to be clothed, of receiving health care, of being able to be educated and, above all, the need for the president to leave the country.”
This is the context we were living in during the preparations for the feast. We were incapable of knowing how many people would arrive. We were also in doubt regarding knowing if we would truly have the Mass Celebration as foreseen and sufficient nourishment for friends and invitees. All is uncertain and life is lived with that uncertainty day after day. Everything depends on the situation in the streets; however, our Community decided to continue the preparations knowing, like our Foundress, that God would not abandon us and that his mercy and love are larger than our limitations.
On February 3, 2021, a few moments before the Mass Celebration, armed bandits took over the streets. Despite the shots, three parents, accompanied by their children, were able to join us safe and sound. “What are we going to do”, we questioned. We expressed our feelings to Claudine, telling her that we had done all we could, now it was up to her to take over. Suddenly, a drenching rain started falling, and immediately the shots ceased and an unbelievable calm pervaded in the streets. Despite the present situation, we thought that the others would not have the possibility of coming because of the heavy rain, and also, because of not having the necessary means to get here.
Surprisingly, the children, accompanied by their parents, youth, professors, women involved in the kitchen responsibilities, volunteers, a few members of the Family of Jesus and Mary, and several collaborators of two of our parish chapels had come to praise God with us. “God will provide”, and will never abandon His own and Saint Claudine offered us her benediction through the rain. There was immense joy! The Reverend Fr. Hans Alexandre, Pastor of our Parish, reminded us in his homily that the name chosen for this program, PAS-A-PAS, (STEP BY STEP), must be considered as a spirituality for the youth and the children. He stated that the program is a process through which they receive help to live each stage of their lives knowing that, not only are they precious in the eyes of God, but also that they have the willingness to arrive “one step at a time.”
Sr. Josela took a few moments to express her gratitude to the people. She profited of these moments by thrusting the following question to all the invitees present: “ To what would Claudine be inviting us today here in Haiti?” Joyfully and with much emotion, once again, we said together: “How good is the good God!”
We count on your prayer for us, that we may truly be bridges for the children, capable of helping them to know God and love God more and more.
– Community of Port-au-Prince