MINISTER GENERAL IN HAITI: About a year after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the Minister General, Jose Carballo, recently paid a visit to the Franciscans there. The purpose of the visit was to show the Order’s solidarity with the friars and people living in such very difficult circumstances.
Franciscan church – Croix-les-missions
Accompanied by Br.Massimo Tedoldi of the Secretariate for the Missions and Evangelization and Br. Edwin Alvarado, Vice-Provincial of the Province of Central America, the Minister General, Fr José Caballo, visited the three fraternities in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. At the friary of St. Alexander he met friars Victor, Carlos Omar and Colombano plus the four postulants who will soon begin their novitiate. He spent time with some forty children who frequented the little friary daily. A welcome house nearby will soon be constructed for them supported by Italian charities.
He also gave time to visiting the city which was almost completely destroyed by that terrible earthquake of 12 January 2010. At the cemetery, where hundreds of thousands were buried, he offered prayers before their graves.
He then visited the heavily-damaged church of Croix-les-missions which will be reconstructed entirely, thanks to the contributions of the Province of Central American upon which the Haitian Franciscan Foundation is dependent. The parish priest and at the same time President of the Foundation, Br. Dempsey, informed the Minister General of all the charitable initiatives the friars have started during this dreadful year. Aside from his parochial duties, another friar, Br Jean-Louis, offers free medical services in a small clinic, caring for about 50 to 60 sick persons a day.
Lilavois, a place situated on a plain below the city, was the third fraternity visited by the Minister General. Here friars Raymond, Carlos and Miguel live along with four young Haitian friars. Beside their formation activities, they are also involved in offering a welcome to religious for retreat days. At the house in Lilavois all the friars in Haiti gathered together with Fr José to share on the events of the past year and to plan for the future.
Fr José exhorted this group of courageous friars to trust in God and live their Franciscan calling wholeheartedly in this most difficult situation. Through the Minister General the friars in Haiti extended their deepest gratitude to all friars of the Order and to the Franciscan Family for the generous support, spiritual and material, they have received from around the world.