Religious men and women among those lost in Haiti quake

Posted by Patrice Tuohy
Tuesday 26, January 2010 | Category:   Clergy,Consecrated Life

Gathering reports from the National Religious Vocation Conference's February Newsletter, and Fides, the news agency for the Ponitifical Mission Society, the earthquake in Haiti has had a devasting effect on many religious communities even as many religious men and women are in the forefront of relief efforts. Here is what is being reported to date:

From the NRVC:

Sister Brigitte Pierre, D.C., a Haitian member of the Daughters of Charity was found dead January 17. Remaining members of the Daughters of Charity were unharmed, although their homes were destroyed, and they have been living in tents as they reach out to assist their neighbors. An international team of 8 Daughters of Charity has arrived to assist with the relief effort.

Sister Mary Finnick, G.N.S.H. of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart is a nurse and has been treating the injured at Matthew 25, a Port-au-Prince hospitality house she runs. She and a doctor have been using the dining room of the partially damaged house as an operating room.

Sister Judy Dohner, H.M., a Humility of Mary sister suffered broken ribs and a concussion. She lives with the Sisters of St. Antoine of Fondwa, a Haitian community that lost a novice sister and a 2-year-old orphan in her care, along with its convent. The community’s orphanage and school also were damaged, forcing

The funeral service for Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot,
outside the ruins of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de
l'Assomption, in Haiti on Jan. 23, 2010.
Miot and many parishioners were killed
when the cathedral collapsed during the earthquake
Shawn Thew / EPA Read mor

members to sleep outdoors with the orphans.

The Marist Brothers report that since their works are far from Port-au-Prince, they withstood the earthquake without any serious damage.

Two seminarians of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales were killed; five others were seriously injured but expected to recover. Two of the community’s three houses were completely destroyed. The community’s three priests and seminarians are living out in the open.

The 11 Sisters of Providence serving in Haiti survived the earthquake, although their homes were damaged. The sisters are sleeping in the street but continue to serve the poor by caring for the injured in a make-shift clinic set up on the grounds of a demolished church. Meanwhile the international congregation of the Sisters of Providence has launched a fundraising campaign to help Haiti rebuild and has pledged that its sisters will remain for the long term.

Sister Odlinè Morcy, S.S.A. of the Sisters of St. Anne was killed and another sister was injured. The community also lost a dispensary, a school and two residences.

The Society of the Sacred Heart reports that the three R.S.C.J. sisters based in Port-au-Prince are safe, but their house was destroyed. They express gratitude to the Daughters of Mary who extended hospitality to Sister Josefa Corrada, R.S.C.J. after she escaped a building. The R.S.C.J.s will move to Verrettes, Haiti where the community offers educational programs.

At least five employees at the Viatorians’ principal building, Villa Manrèse, were killed when the building was destroyed. One Viatorian, Jean-Michelin Cadet, injured his leg when the Viatorian community house and parish church in Grand Goâve were destroyed. Several Viatorians have opted not to take refuge in the community’s intact house in Cazeau neighborhood near the airport but to remain in Grand Goâve and Villa Manrèse, ministering to the people as best they can. The Superior General of the Viatorians has launched an international fundraising campaign to help rebuild and continue its mission in Haiti.

The two Xaverian Brothers who run the Maison Fortuné Orphanage in Hinche, Haiti are safe. They are moving forward with plans to take in children from Port-au-Prince orphanages that have been destroyed. The Xavierian Brothers also sponsor Sant Zveryen, a house for young men attending college in Port-au-Prince. The house was damaged, but all nine student-residents survived.

The Sisters of Charity of St. Hyacinthe, Canada lost their convent and school in Haiti, but their 21 sisters are safe and living with other congregations.

From Fides:

The Missionaries of St. Jacques lost Port-au-Prince Archbishop Serge Miot.

The Montfort Missionaries lost nine seminarians and one priest.

The Congregation of Daughters of Wisdom lost three sisters. Three others are still trapped under the rubble.

Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Haiti have about 130 members. One seminarian was killed.

The Congregation of the Holy Ghost lost one seminarian.

The Christian Brothers (with 15 working in Haiti) reported no deaths or injuries. There was slight damage to its novitiate, which has been converted into a shelter for nuns who were left homeless.

None of the 41 Redemptorist fathers or brothers was killed; only one was wounded. However damage to their property estimated at $2 million.

The seven Dominican men religious also escaped unharmed. The Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin sustained one injured sister; one of their two homes was completely destroyed. One of the children of their school was killed.

The 49 Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary all survived.

The five Camillian seminarians escaped unharmed.

The Salesians reported about the collapse of a school that buried 200 students and the religious working there. The bodies of two Salesian seminarians have been found.

Jesuits reported little damage and no lives lost; only one priest was injured.

The Franciscans also reported that their 16 brothers are alive. However, an Argentinean priest of the order, who worked as a missionary in Haiti for the past two years, is among those who disappeared in the earthquake, his brother reported on a local television station.

According to the most recent statistics Haiti's capital was served by 277 priests, 387 men religious and 1,200 women religious.

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