A devastating earthquake struck off the southwest coast of Haiti on August 14 – approximately 80 miles south of Port au Prince. Brother Vincent, Brother Adolph, and the young men at the Sant are safe. Many of the students had already left for their activities that day, but Brothers Vincent and Adolph and one other young man were home at the time of the earthquake. As soon as they felt the tremors they fled outside for safety. There was no apparent damage to their residence. In the southwest part of the country, there is much destruction and loss of life. The latest reports are of over 2,000 deaths from the earthquake. Please keep the Haitian people in your prayers as they struggle to recover from this latest disaster.
Two weeks prior to the assassination of Haiti’s President, Jovenel Moise, 18 people were murdered in one day.
“Insecurity in Haiti has become a regular phenomenon that spares no one,” said Brother Vincent.
Brother Bill Griffin, who teaches and ministers full-time in Haiti at St. Gabriel’s School, had returned to the U.S. several weeks prior for his annual home visit in Takoma Park, MD. Before the attack on the Haitian government, the country’s capital city of Port-au-Prince had been experiencing a wave of kidnappings including priests and nuns from the community of St. James and the Archdiocese of Cap-Haitien. One of the kidnappings occurred in the Croix des Bouqet area where the Sant Zaveryen community is located.
“As the days pass and carry lots of drama and fear for the increasingly dark future, it becomes clear that the population has been left to its own devices,” stated Brother Vincent. “We’re thankful for those who pray for us and write to us. These gestures comfort us greatly.”
In spite of the chaos, hope abounds at Sant Zaveryen where student Belardet Brisseau was recently able to attend a seminar on the analysis of communications. He was tasked with presenting his group’s work to their instructor who offered praise and encouragement.
Although the country continues taking precautions, Haiti is still experiencing the spread of COVID-19. Fortunately, classes are resuming, making up for the delay earlier in the year. We are happy to report that Brothers Vincent and Adolph as well as some of the Sant Zaveryen students have been able to get vaccinated. They are all healthy and safe; pressing on in their studies, hopeful amid these perilous times.
“Please keep praying for peace in Haiti amid these turbulent times,” implored Brother Vincent. “Thank you very much to all of you who support us. You are providing transformative opportunities and changing lives and futures forever. We are so very grateful.”