The Carmelite Community of the Word has been in a twinning relationship with the Little Sisters of the Incarnation of Haiti for over 30 years. For most of that time period the CCW sisters and groups of travelers have made annual visits to the Little Sisters. These were always times when all of us had an opportunity to get to know each other in very personal ways. The visits were times of work, play and collaboration on many levels. Each visit had its own challenges. Sometimes there were safety and security issues, close calls with civil unrest and other concerns.
The past three years have drastically changed our pattern of regular visits to Haiti. Our trips were initially cancelled because the Little Sisters were concerned with the political unrest in December 2018 thus causing us to cancel our January 2019 trip. Since that time many different challenges have made it unsafe to travel to Haiti.
Political unrest has plagued Haiti for most of its history. The failure of their government to meet the needs of the people has been increasingly problematic. Gangs have essentially overtaken the country and have made it a more dangerous place than it already was. Their president was killed in July of 2021 opening the door for more disorder. Kidnappings for ransom have continued to increase with even those dedicated to mission outreach targeted.
In the past few years, the people of Haiti have experienced numerous natural disasters by hurricanes and earthquakes that have severely damaged their already fragile economy. Shortages of the necessities of life have become the standard of living for the people of Haiti. And all of this has been intensified by the global Covid Pandemic and all its ramifications.
Such unrest has the natural consequence of attempts by Haitians to escape the miseries being experienced by migrating to other countries, particularly to the US. Some who had emigrated after the 2010 earthquake to South American countries have continued their migration by traveling to the Mexico/US border only to either be turned away or in some cases deported to Haiti.
Amid all this suffering on the part of the people of Haiti the Sisters of the Carmelite Community of the Word feel the need to raise attention to the plight of our dear friends in Haiti. We realize that the world’s attention has been on other areas of conflict like the Ukraine, and rightly so. But at the same time, we know that the people of Haiti are also suffering and need our compassion.
We would like to invite you to take part in three days of prayer in anticipation of the Feast of Mother of Perpetual Help, who is the Patroness of Haiti. We will begin our intentional prayer on June 24, 2022 and continue for three days until the feast on June 27, 2022. Please join us in reciting the enclosed prayer. We will also provide some additional information about Haiti and the Little Sisters on each of the three days via our website. Just go to ccwsister.org for each day.
May our hands and hearts lifted in prayer give strength and encouragement through Mary’s intercession.
Sisters of the Carmelite Community of the Word.
Here are reflections for each day of our three days of prayer.