October 19, 2016 Letter from Fr. Rick
Friends and Family
the past week,
the Wall Street Journal featured an article referring to the curse of
is certainly true
that when “helping someone” is limited to getting them through the day
the present disaster) it is just a flash of good will, something
shooting star. It is as brief as it is beautiful..
The article points out
that sometimes charity, in fact, undercuts autonomy, holds people bound
poverty, and that the application of charity can become its own big
it is true that
charity can be a curse, it is just as true that the people that we know
work with in rural Haiti are not looking for charity. It is not what
for, if given a chance to ask.
Most people in fact ask
for a job. If a job is not possible, they ask for some tools to be able
on their own (garden tools, fishing equipment, a juice squeeze to be
squeeze and sell juice.)
As we accompany our
neighbors in rural Haiti, after the devastation of hurricane Matthew,
clear that they are eager to replant their gardens, fix their roofs,
their drowned livestock.
They are eager to give
their children something to eat for today, and an education and skill
make them independent tomorrow.
a shooting start
that cannot be followed to any destination, or even admired for very
dream of the rural Haitian people is rather like the north star, a
guide, steady and clear.
Since we work with
vulnerable children in Haiti, we are concerned about their anxiety for
families and friends in their villages. We are concerned about their
when they see, right outside our gates, homes gardens and schools
They are vulnerable
children in a vulnerable country, in a vulnerable world.
is offset by
practical action. Anxiety is offset by
accepting responsibility for the world around us.
feeling that we are in
this together tempers the feeling of helplessness and
We are in this together.
We can do something
We care, and in a
of us engaged in the
sister missions of Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs, and Fondation
St Luc in Haiti,
are convinced we can make the world around us better, for at least
Churches, town halls and community leaders within our field of mission,
network is like a huge tree, like a sturdy sprawling tree seen on a
This kind of tree does
not fall in earthquakes or hurricanes.
The roots are deep, and
we are rooted in those roots.
Throughout our wide
tree, we can tell you the names of these 5,000 families, where they
names of their children, how they are faring.
we seek food to
tide them over until their gardens yield again in just a few months,
Together we seek the
seeds to plant right away so that three months harvest comes real soon.
Together we seek the
tarps and tents to help the refugees camped out in our damaged schools
rather under their own humble roofs, until humbly we can build
together, and school can be a school again.
already started, the
minute Matthew was gone, sharing the short term food help, planting the
term seeds, planning with the families the feeble and later stronger
It’s about being good
neighbors. Old fashioned and wholesome.
It’s what makes the
world go around.
we do this work
together, vulnerable children in vulnerable communities are a little
stronger and a lot more engaged.
Memories of struggling
together in hope and with purpose give another meaning to
the howling winds and punishing rains.
life now is
very tough, already new banana leaves glow bright green as they reach
the fallen orchards and shield the sun,
And if you listen, the
wind already begins to carry the sound of laughter.
If charity can be a
curse, friendship is always a blessing.
for blessing us,
and the 5,000 families we stand with.
and generous support are heartwarming, and as beautiful as a starry sky.
We wish for you and your
families many blessings from God, our Strength and our Providence!
Rick Frechette CP
Port au Prince