General Minister visits the Brothers in Haiti

From 1-3 September 2016, the General Minister Br. Michael Perry, accompanied by the General Definitor Br. Ignacio Ceja, visited the brothers living in Haiti.

The Minister of the Central American Province, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Br. Edwin Alvarado, to which the Foundation of Holy Cross in Haiti belongs, was also present during the visit.

The majority of the twenty-four brothers who are part of this Foundation participated:
10 professed solemn (3 Haitian, 5 Central American, a Canadian and a Congolese).
9 professed temporary, all Haitians (living outside Haiti 3).
5 novices (3 Haitian and Central American 2).
There are also 5 postulants and are expecting the arrival of another 6.

The brothers are distributed in three houses, all located in Port-au-Prince: 1) the Holy Cross of the Mission Community, which is the House of those in simple profession and that also cares for the parish. 2) the San Francisco Community, which is home to the novitiate. 3) the Saint Alexandre Community, which is the postulant house, but who also care for San Antonio House, which provides home, food and support for their studies for a group of needy children. With the support of the Order, through the Secretariat General for the Waterford Franciscan Missions, the Foundation has acquired ground and the money to build a new House, which will be the Postulant House, in this way Saint Alexandre will host to the simply professed and the Holy Cross of the Mission will have more space available for the service of the parish.

During his visit, Br. Michael was able to visit each of the houses, including the newly acquired land.

The day of our arrival the brothers shared data of the history of Haiti and of the Franciscan presence in the country, as well as the current distribution of the brothers.

The 2nd of September we met with the Council of the Foundation to discuss the present and on the future of the Order’s presence in Haiti. The members of the Council spoke of their work in the country, their collaboration with the Church, their relationship with the Franciscan family, their strengths and difficulties. They expressed that, although their main task is the care and initial formation of the brothers, trying to lay a firm foundation for the implementation of the Order. They are undertaking a discernment process to decide what type of presence they want be in Haiti, so as to evangelically influence the reality in which they live.

The 3rd day, after greeting and briefly meeting with Monsignor Guire Poulard, Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, we met with all the brothers who make up the Foundation.

After the President of the Foundation Br. Edgardo Perez opened the meeting and the Provincial Minister, Br. Edwin Alvarado welcomed us, the General Minister spoke about the current situation of the Order, about the need of that with our words, but mostly with our testimony of life, especially with brotherhood, we bring Evangelical values to the Haitian reality which is in need of the values such as the peace, solidarity, respect for the dignity of the person, dialogue, and care of creation. We are called to be missionaries of hope, of dialogue. He recalled guidelines of Ite Nuntiate, necessary to ensure an authentic life as Friars Minor.

After a moment of dialogue, we celebrated the Eucharist and enjoyed a brotherly feast, which concluded our visit with the brothers.