Sr. Anne-Marie Beaudoin
I lived an emotional and joyful experience in Haiti on January 12 – one year after the terrible earthquake that took the country by surprise. I had expected uprisings and mass manifestations on the streets, but, on that January 12 morning I found…deep silence.
In the streets the people were solemnly heading towards their Churches – to honour their dead… This day was like a Sunday throughout the country. Everywhere, Eucharists were being celebrated for the people who, one year ago, had seen their lives suddenly come to an end, their destiny changed forever …their tomorrows brutally severed.
A grand Eucharistic Celebration was held in the street outside the Cathedral of Port-au-Prince. A Vatican official was there to deliver a word of consolation on behalf of the Pope.
The Montfort family assembled at the Foyer de Charité to honour those who had left us on that fatal January 12, 2010. I was glad to be there with many Sisters of the province, one of whom was Sr. Marie-Edwidge Augustin, Provincial. The names of each member of the Montfort Fathers and of the Daughters of Wisdom who passed away during the earthquake were proclaimed. To this list, many names followed in remembrance of those related to the Foyer de Charité. This formal proclamation of the names was a touching moment…each name conjuring up memories… a family in mourning…
The people of Haiti have a strong faith that gives them courage and drive to keep on living in spite of everything. So much courage for the country in mourning, in confusion in face of an almost impossible situation…Yes, life is stronger than death… this, I witnessed.
Our Sisters are courageous and quickly have taken up their work in the schools…in temporary shelters… Gently, in the midst of the ruins, Wisdom’s presence stirs up life in order to give hope again to the younger generations and to offer them a chance for a better tomorrow.
Yes, I have lived quite a different January 12, one that I will not soon forget…Thanks to the people of Haiti for bearing witness to courage, strength and faith.
Dear Sisters Marie-Emmanuel, Marie Flore, Marie-Camille, Marguerite Marie, Christine and Marie-Claude, your names will remain forever graven in the history of your people and in the heart of our Congregation’s history. May your lives and the lives of those who died on January 12, 2010 remain seeds of hope for us and for your people.
Sr. Anne-Marie Beaudoin