REFLECTIONS OF SR. ELISABETH IDES ON HER VISIT TO HAITI
In December of 2016, Sr. Elisabeth Ides, a member of our General Government, and liaison with AFJM groups throughout the Congregation, visited Haiti. Her principal purpose for going was to connect with the AFJM in Port-au-Prince, a group deeply affected by the loss of Sr. Isa Sola, who had started the group. Given below are Sr. Elisabeth’s reflections on that visit.
Meeting the Family of Jesus and Mary and discovering our mission there was a beautiful moment for me.
The first days were dedicated to preparing the site for the burial of Isa Sola’s ashes at the Center of St. Marie. This ritual took place on a Saturday in the early afternoon, and it was a moment filled with emotion and regret…
Late in the afternoon, we gathered together with the Association of the Family of Jesus and Mary. This is a very united group, deeply marked by the death of Sr. Isa, and with a deep desire to continue the mission initiated in recent years.
All of them would like to have the supportive presence of Jesus-Mary sisters to welcome and accompany the projects in Port-au-Prince.
They are all engaged directly or indirectly in a mission: for example, the prosthesis workshop, mobile clinic, parish, or other organizations. In addition to their professional activity, they are involved in the AFJM and collaborate in the actions of the group.
Several hours journey from Port au Prince, is the mission of the RJM at Gros Morne. Sisters of Jesus Mary collaborate in the administration of the school, support the center of the “Good Samaritan” for elderly, serve on the Board of the hospital “Alma Mater,” work with a reforestation project. The community welcomes volunteers who collaborate with each of these services. In Jean Rabel, the sisters oversee several schools, and have a flourishing artists’ workshop. The investment of each one seems to me valuable to help both emergency and on-going needs of the mission to serve the poorest. The sisters have an energy and an impressive commitment to share the charism of St. Claudine there.
I was struck by the destitution of people, the violence that often erupts, and the climate of insecurity. If we want to serve here, we should be able to continue in this country to witness the goodness of God.
I thank the Sisters of the United States of America for allowing me to live this experience, especially Sr. Margaret and to our sisters from Gros Morne and Jean Rabel for their kind and sisterly welcome. I would also like to thank Leide (current director of the prosthesis clinic, member of AFJM, and close friend of Sr. Isa Sola) for her faithful presence and support to the AFJM of Port au Prince.