Monday, January 24, 2011

270 Seminarians Huddle in Tents: Haiti

It is like back then in Postwar Germany:  "Those remaining alive, the completely impoverished people of the city, live in this single bunker.  Thousands are huddled here together.  There was a dominating and pestilent stench."

Seminary inn Haiti
( The Church in Haiti finds itself still in a state of exceptional circumstance after the disastrous  earthquake of January 2010.

This report is from the Latin American correspondent of the international Catholic aid association, "Kirche in Not', Rafael D'Aqui.

After the outbreak of cholera and the escalation of violence after the last election, the future is continually uncertain.

Priestly Seminary Under the Palms

"In the national seminary of Lillavoi there are at present 270 seminarians in tents learning philosophy and theology under the palms."

The earthquake destroyed the seminary of Port-au-Prince.  Many seminarians were then buried beneath the ruins.

"We have helped purchase land for a new seminary" -- explained D'Aqui.

The Nuncio hopes to be able to lay the cornerstone in January.

Till the building is complete, the seminarians must remain in tents.

A car should be dispatched to ease the supplying with sustenance and to bring the upcoming priests to the people.

Poor Sisters Help the Poor

The Little Sisters of St Theresa work in the small suburb Rivere Froid -- not far from the capital of Port au Prince.

They care for the residents in severe poverty in the impassable mountains of Haiti.

Through the earthquake the sisters had lost virtually all of their homes.  150 of their students and four sisters gave up their lives in the collapse of the buildings.

Since then the five surviving sisters are perched all together in a severely earthquake damaged house.

Some of them are old and frail.

Like in Bombed Germany

The report of their national correspondents are said to remind them "of the situation in Postwar Germany" -- said the business directoer of 'Kirche in Not', Karin Maria Fenbert.

Then Father Werenfried van Straatem -- the founder of the aid association -- wrote about the bombed city:

"There is almost nothing left of it, only a giant bunker, like the ones built throughout Germany, to protect the population from bombs.

"Those remaining behind, completely impoverished people of the city, house themselves in a single bunker. Thousands huddle here together.  There was a dominant and pestilent stench."

Then Father continued:  "It is Christmas again and Christ longs to be taken up Himself."

He wanders about our streets unseen.

Don't be like the predatory animals of Bethlehem, like the indifferent innkeepers, like the prosperous burgers in the chambers of their provincial self-satisfaction.

Open your doors and your hearts to everyone in need, which need is also Christ's."

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