Courage, blessings and strength, for the whole human family.
The world is totally different now, and we need likewise (and together) to learn to think and act in a totally new way. We have lit this candle in our St. Philomena Chapel which is located on our grounds of the St. Damien Pediatric Hospital. The candle will burn steadily for as long as it takes for the coronavirus to no longer be a threat, anywhere on earth.
Will we have enough candles? Market shelves are emptying fast, of everything.
Since we made these candles from the wax of our own bees, we will be able to keep this icon lit for as long as we still have bees and honey. (Mead, which we also make, may be a good alcohol sanitizer.)
And we are committed to do likewise for masks, gloves, protective gowns and soaps, since the market shelves of the world are already empty of these: we will find a way to make them, calling forth the richness of creativity, the advice of the internet, and the traditions of centuries ago.
We are complying immediately with the government ordinances and worldwide recommendations.
All of this to comply with the effort against congregating people in numbers above 10.
Water deliveries are vital and will continue, as will other direct help to the poor in their neighborhoods.
Agricultural and aquaculture programs will necessarily increase, as will production of bread and pasta. Similarly, we will attempt to increase the economy of poor neighbors by job creation.
If the government ordinances become prolonged, we will reorganize resuming care for the malnourished, and women in the pregnancy programs, the old fashioned way: by visiting them where they live, in their homes. (Always resisting the gathering of crowds and respecting some meters of distance between people.)
We also may come up with creative ways to help the school children, ways that do not involve internet, since most do not have access. Classes of nine children and a teacher could be considered, under a tree and far from the next. (It worked for Jesus and his twelve, Plato and his small groups of students, and countless others).
Our teams who will directly approach the sick, for medical, pastoral and humane care, and for housekeeping and ancillary services, will have the best protective garb possible in a country that cannot be well supplied in the face of the current global shortages.
Social distance is a good medicine, but abandonment, disconnectedness, or human isolation is totally toxic, for everyone involved. The candle aflame before the icon of Divine Mercy is not lit for us.
It is lit in prayer for you, cherished friends in Italy, Germany, Spain, the Americas, and around the world, as a way of showing our concern for you in your sufferings, and of raising all our sufferings up to God’s Mercy.
Please make a donation to help us stock supplies and continue to provide care to those who need us and have nowhere else to go.
We wish for courage, blessings and strength, for the whole human family.
Fr. Rick Frechette, CP, D.O.
Advisor, NPH Haiti