Haiti Mission Update

“Blessed are those who mourn, they will be comforted” — Mt.5:4

Tonight we all found it hard to put our experience into words. About half of the group got up early and went to 6:30am Mass with the Missionaries of Charity who serve in the children’s home. It is impressive to pray with these women who serve day in and day out the overwhelming needs of the poorest of the poor.

After breakfast the group went out to another center of the Missionaries of Charity where they serve adults and children with serious illnesses and provide care and a safe, dignified place for them to be until they recover or God calls them home. The drive to the center brought us through downtown Port-au-Prince, past the ruins of the Cathedral that fell in the earthquake in 2010 and through the daily life and neighborhoods of the people here. For many of us just the drive was overpowering.

On arriving we began with prayer in the chapel, considering eternity and that we are all united in knowing the true meaning of our lives will only be realized when we reach eternity. From the chapel we went out to spend time with the patients. Some were elderly, many were young, some were still children. We sang, we colored, we played games, we gently massaged aching backs, we painted fingernails and toenails, some of us had our hair done! It was a day that brought all of us out of our comfort zone and into the lives and struggles of others.

Here are some of the experiences that the missionaries shared tonight:

It was so powerful to drive through the city, the reality of how people live here, and how normal it is to do without so much, and struggle to get by is overwhelming.

I was shocked and in awe of the day, for me it was Christ like to put lotion on these women who are so sick and need human touch and comfort.

The eagerness of the children to be with us was what impressed me the most.

Today I felt I was dancing with the Holy Spirit, my son wanted to go in with some of the most ill patients and said, ‘Let’s go dad”. We started to give back rubs and put lotion on to comfort them, I felt that I was serving Christ, that it was his back, and touched that my son was the one who got me in there.

My experience today was joy, not my joy but to see their joy despite how they might feel or how sick they might be. It was so powerful to see how much they enjoy music.

The pain of wanting to comfort the children but not being able to… the struggle and frustration of the language barrier.

We had a fun and light afternoon playing with the little boys outside with side walk chalk.

The word that sums up my day is ownership. All of the little girls wanted to possess something. It was so impressive to me because it is so easy for me to own something. I just on my bike and ride to target and get what I want, these girls have never experienced that.

My word today is courage. I was impressed by the patients’ courage, it was not a weepy place, it was a joyful and normal kind of everyday place despite the illness they suffer from. I was nervous as we started and prayed for courage, as I was praying I looked up and saw on the back of all the shirts: Be Not Afraid!

It was so powerful to be able to accompany some of these people who have no one to be with them in their suffering. It could be so hard to be facing death and be in the hospital all alone. There was a man who had been abandoned and was so ill and the sisters had gone and brought him in since he had no family and no one to care for him. It was so powerful to have been there to accompany him and all these people.

Psalm 22 “I can number all my bones” so many of these people are suffering and so emaciated, I felt I could touch Christ.

Perspective — I spent the day trying to put myself in their place and imagine what they see when they see us. Also perspective on my life, seeing their bathrooms makes me appreciate the bathroom at the guesthouse when that was a hard adjustment when I first arrived. I felt God asking me “What are you going to do with this new perspective when you get back?”

Contradictions — some rooms were joyful and some were somber, some of us were able to bring life to a room, and some of us more silent, there were so many contrasting realities and experiences.

Servant- I was painting toenails and kept thinking of Jesus washing the disciples feet, it was a gift to be able to serve.


About Katelyn Moroney

Katelyn Moroney is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She was consecrated in the summer of 2002 and studied at Mater Ecclesiae College for the following four years. During her studies at Mater Ecclesiae she worked in the New York and New Jersey areas as well as venturing as far as Australia and New Zealand for her apostolic work. In 2006 she was assigned to work in Dallas, Texas with girls in programs like Challenge. Joining the Chicago team in the fall of 2009, Katelyn began working with high school and university students. She currently directs Mission Youth Missions.
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