Thursday, July 27, 2017
   
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Prayer Vigils for the People of Haiti

On Jan. 12, 2010, the people of Haiti experienced a 7.0-magnitude earthquake. As a result they experienced unspeakable suffering, deaths and devastation. Our hearts and lives cried out in pain and sorrow as the whole world witnessed this nation of sorrow and expressed a desire to be with them in solidarity.

On Jan. 19, a group of concerned friends gathered at the Peace Garden at Toronto's City Hall for a prayer vigil for the people of Haiti.

Richard Vincente led us in an opening hymn, "God hears the cry of the poor," and Father Mike Fleming followed with a prayer.

Rosemary Fry CSJ, a Sister of St Joseph who was in Haiti (and has since returned to Haiti) led us in reflection. Rosemary expressed how immensely God loved the people of Haiti and how greatly God was present to them now.

David Walsh distributed quotes by Martin Luther King Jr., St. Francis of Assisi and many more. Their words expressed great love, courage and hope during times of great suffering and deaths.

There in the Peace Garden Father Bob Holmes led us in the final blessing, touching our lives and extending his blessing to all the people of Haiti. Richard Vicente led us in the final hymn, a hymn for peace. Mary Hughes, Cecile Turner and I were blessed to be there.

Second Vigil

On Jan. 26, the Prayer Vigil continued at the Peace Garden at City Hall. Jean Leahy CSJ led the opening prayer, reading a reflection by Lorraine Malo CSJ, a Sister who has since returned to Haiti.

Marie Clarkson OLM read a quote from the reflection by Lorraine Malo CSJ. Indeed it was a time of prayer!

Sisters of St. Joseph Mary Fatta, Rosemary McGinn, Betty Lou Knox, Margaret Feelay and Jean Gove blessed us with their prayerful presence. Frances Brady, Cecile Turner and Mary Hughes OLMs prayed with us. Ann Schenck CSJ said the closing prayer, praying for all the people in Haiti, remembering Rosemary Fry, CSJ and Mary Alban Bouchard, CSJ.

Deeply touching us is the picture of the young boy arising from the devastation and the people welcoming him joyfully.

Indeed Haiti is a nation, a people of miracles and resurrections. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian martyred saint, would say it is the duty of a person to stand publicly as a witness in truth and solidarity with our suffering sisters and brothers in times of great suffering.

We hold this duty seriously and are joined by all our communities and friends from wherever they are. God hears 'The Cries of the Poor'!

By Susan Moran OLM

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