Suffering and solidarity for Haiti.
Suffering and solidarity for Haiti.
Barahona (Dominican Republic). Suffering, solidarity and, dignity are what emerge from the account of Sr. Elizabeth Corsino, FMA animator of the community of Barahona who, together with Sr. Angela Michelon, went to Port-au-Prince during these days. When they arrived in the Haitian capital, the scene that opened before their eyes was truly dramatic. They reached the house of the Sisters and saw that they were preparing food for the people and for the resident children entrusted to them.
The FMA who are in Port-au-Prince did not have the possibility of receiving news about their own families. Communication was impossible. The Sisters and children are sleeping in the open on makeshift bedding. The FMA of Santo Domingo are organizing a campaign to bring light mattresses. They sleep on chairs, seeking to be attentive also to those who would want to enter their houses or who are already there.
The FMA are taking in nearby families for the night so that all can sleep safely and so that no one will remain alone, even though they sleep very little.
Four of the seven Sisters remain in the Petion-Ville community, the hardest hit by the earthquake; the elderly have been transferred to the provincial house that is more secure. Petion-Ville is also the site of the aspirandate and the aspirants have all been sent to the provincial house. Here everyone is together in the front part of the house.
The section of the provincial house where the residents lived is completely collapsed and the 40 girls who lived there were with the others in the open air. The evening is a bit cold because during this time of year the temperatures of the Caribbean are lower.
Sr. Elizabeth tells us: “Truly, the Sisters feel the strong protection of Mary Help of Christians, with faith and serenity, and even though they are fearful because of the tremors that continue, they still have hope.”
Notwithstanding the shock, they are seeking to give this hope to others and have taken on the care of the girls who are with them. Their preoccupation is that of not being able to communicate.
“When we arrived at the house of Petion Ville” continues Sr. Elizabeth, “from the outside we could already see the condition that it was in. We met the animator Sr. Aline Nicolás and were frightened, but she welcomed us with a smile and a strong embrace and said: ‘we are all safe!'
We will probably have to raze the house, but the Sisters and aspirants are all right. Even the Sisters of Kenscoff are fine. We have no news from the community at Jacmel, and we are planning to go there by a road that is less frequented.”
The FMA of the Antilles province are planning other trips to Haiti, and after having seen what is needed they are organizing things in the best way possible.
“I have one more thing I want to tell you” said Sr. Elizabeth, “and it is about the people of Haiti who have been so afflicted. During our return trip, we saw lines of people who were looking for their loved ones or who were moving to leave the city. On their faces I saw dignity in their suffering. The suffering faces that I saw were also faces of hope. Even our Sisters carry sorrow in their hearts , but they succeed in showing that they are hopeful and share the little that they have.”
There is fear of rioting and problems, but there is hope that the international organizations that are arriving on the island can support the people with their help. A great problem is the crowds of people at the frontier with Santo Domingo, where people are trying to escape.Letter from the Provincial of Haiti