Thursday March 21st: If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing.
March 21, 2024
Poem: Interference
March 21, 2024

Pray & Fast for Haiti

Flag with original proportions. Closeup of grunge flag of Haiti

The Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), the Latin American Confederation of Religious (CLAR), and Caritas Latin America and the Caribbean have jointly proposed March 22, as a day of prayer for the people of Haiti and to draw attention to the social and humanitarian situation that has become “extremely worse” in recent weeks.

The organisations reaffirm that the people of Haiti have been suffering a lot for “a long time”, a situation they believe is the result of multiple causes and a complex history.

They, however, emphasise “we cannot stop becoming neighbours” and continued, “That is why we propose to carry out some gesture, moment or concrete community action.”

The joint statement is titled ‘Everyone with Haiti’. In it, the organisations invited other Christian and religious communities to join in prayer, as well as non-believers to join in with their sentiments.

While they say that the solution is not directly in their hands, and needs the courage and determination of men and women with national and international decision-making power, the organisations are “convinced” of the strength of prayer, which also “brings us closer and expresses our solidarity with the Haitian people.”

The statement said in this season of Lent, the face of the suffering Christ is in more than three million children in need of humanitarian aid, in the 362,000 internally displaced persons, in more than half of the population living below the poverty line and with a life expectancy that barely exceeds 64 years old; in those who lost their family and friends [as] victims of violence; in the women who suffer every day the trampling of their basic rights and in those who do not have the minimum conditions to live with dignity.

Referring to Scripture ‘Where’s your brother?’ (Gen 4:9), the organisations underscore “we can never remain indifferent to the suffering of an entire people that is part of our Latin American and Caribbean people. It is part of our history. It is part of our Church.”

In many communities, March 22 is still celebrated as ‘Friday of Sorrows’ or ‘Mary at the Foot of the Cross’. “It is the Virgin who associated herself with the sorrows of her Son. It is Mary who [is] grieving today for her Son in the face of the Haitian people crucified by misery and violence,” the statement said.

It appealed to Mary’s intercession so that the Lord may smoothen paths, dispose hearts, move wills so that the Haitian brothers and sisters “may soon enjoy a full life”.

“Let us join the cry of the Haitian people so that this voice may be heard on earth and in heaven, trusting in God’s mercy and compassion for his children,” the statement ended.

Archbishop of Port of Spain, Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon appealed to the local Church to also join in prayer and fasting for Haiti.