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As the Easter celebrations draw near, I am more keenly aware of how many parallels of the crucifixion and the resurrection we find in the lives of the children and adults whom we serve.

Hunger without hope for sufficient food, weariness without hope for a place to rest in peace, sickness without hope for healing are the nails

of the cross of poverty. Unfulfilled dreams because of lack of educational opportunities, fear and pain because of crime and violence, and loss of hope and trust in adults, who are abusive and neglectful, are the nails of the cross children carry, who have been deprived of loving parental care. Suffering, enduring physical and emotional pain is a universal human condition we all experience at one moment or another in our lives. For those of us who are rooted in our faith, seeing Christ on the cross can help us to endure our own sufferings, hearing about Mary watching

her son dying on the cross can help us in accepting better Fortunately, the story does not end here. Christ resurrects on the third day ecoming the light of the world. Watching our children after they join our NPH family is often observing their resurrection. Within time, the burden of the children’s crosses give way to hope in life, a life where basic needs are met, opportunities to develop abound and where children can regain trust in themselves and in others.

Most importantly, they can grow in their faith and become a light to others. Of course, it is easy for me to just say this but the proof is in the words of young adult Pequeños/as who recently answered the question: “What does NPH mean to you?”

Here are a few examples representative of many answers:

“For me, NPH means family, security, a new beginning, opportunities and spiritual, professional and emotional development.”

“NPH is my family, and it has been my family since I was four years old. And it will be to the end (of my life). NPH is an example of God’s love for us, his children, put into practice by Father Wasson, an instrument of God’s love.”

“NPH is a second chance in life that no one else can give you the way NPH does, because here (at NPH) you know that you can achieve your dreams and goals, it is only up to you to fulfill them.”

“NPH means to me love, and the opportunity to change the way of life I used to have.”

I wish you a blessed Easter Celebration and thank you for being a light in the world of our children.”

Sincerely,

Reinhart Koehler

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Dear NPH Family,

Growing food was the first activity that gave us enough prosperity to stay in one place, form complex social groups, tell our stories, and build our cities.” from the book  “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”.

 Thanks to a donor from Italy, during this month of January, we began growing Tilapia for our programs: St. Helene, Fr. Wasson Angels of Light and St. Damien Hospital. A portion of our production will be sold to benefit St. Damien.

We are expecting a harvest or 1400kg every 100 days or 4,200 kg per year

This is part of an initiative for sustainable food production that includes recycling the fish water for agriculture.

We have also experimented with a plant called moringa, rich in vitamins to be added to sauces and salads.

We are enthusiastic about our effort to have local production of food high in nutritional value.”

Thank you,

Fr Rick

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Tilapia

Dear Friends,
The year 2013 saw some new beginnings for us at NPH Haiti, and also continued to bring us the trials and tribulations that Haiti is well known for. We are still working hard to bring all our post- earthquake programs into financial and structural equilibrium, and we are so grateful for the overwhelming support we receive from around the world, which in time will make this goal achievable. These programs include neonatology, maternity, cholera treatment, the Father Wasson’s Angels of Light (FWAL) home for vulnerable children, and the Don Bosco expansion, which includes residential housing for over 60 students and an increase in our university students to 85.

During the year we were faced with two major challenges. The financial crisis in the developed world still gives us great stress as we strive to meet the budgets for all of our programs. We have been working hard to restructure our programs centralize purchasing, increase usage of digital technology for efficiency – such as our fingerprint time clock for employees, to move significantly toward solar energy, and to train our directors to be more interactive with the accounting office on a weekly basis related to their spending. We will soon have one National Director for our healthcare programs, and another National Director for our children’s homes and child development programs. These efforts have enabled us to stay afloat, and we are hopeful we can make it through 2014 in the same way.

The second major challenge is the mounting social and political instability in Haiti, with calls for the removal of the President, and resulting in frequent and chaotic demonstrations in the street.
One of these huge mobs, not permitted to get any closer to the American Embassy than our hospital gate, erupted into chaos, and the tear gas used against them came into our hospital.
Crime always rises during these turbulent times, and we were its victims when armed thieves beat and robbed Gena Heraty from Ireland, and killed Major Cesar, a loyal 25-year employee and night watchmen at our St. Helene home in Kenscoff. Major gave his life to help Gena, and in civil society and by all religious codes, there is no higher honor than what Major did, giving his life to help someone in danger. We hold Major in our hearts with honor and as a hero.While we are working hard to assure justice in this tragic assault, we also are determined not to let it sour us, discourage us, divert the work of our hands or dampen the love in our hearts for the children who need us. We are working diligently on educating and forming our young adults, preparing them for life once they leave NPH and are faced with living in such a rough world. We hope and pray their generation can manage to change things for the better.
We are thankful that our quality of care is always improving at St. Damien Hospital, thanks to so many international partners that come to teach, train, and work by our sides. We have served over over 22,000 children in hospital pediatric consults and admissions alone, and an additional 4,000 in neonatlogy. Over 800 children have received surgeries and the tuberculosis program has assisted over 1,900 children.
More good news: cholera cases countrywide are decreasing! But we can’t afford to take a back seat in the fight against it, since there are fewer and fewer cholera centers, and serious spikes of the disease with every rain. Our pediatric cholera ward averages over 400 children monthly.

This past October, we had the joy of inaugurating Kay Gabriel, our new adult and child physical therapy center, adjacent to Kay Germaine. Equally joyful, we began construction of the permanent homes for the children of the Fr. Wasson Angels of Light. It will be a wonderful
transition for the children from living in modified shipping containers to a real home.

We pray that the year of grace 2014 might bring, for you and for us, blessings, peace and success, on all of our work done in God’s name. We also pray for strength, patience and wisdom in the face of our many challenges.

God bless you!

Sincerely,

Fr. Rick Frechette, CP

Tuesday Dec. 10, Kenneth Cole and Adriana Lima are joining forces for a celebration of heroic Haitian community leaders working with the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti.  Kenneth and Adriana are true friends and supporters of the St. Luke Foundation and have been inspired to share their passion for Haiti and their belief in the St. Luke mission by hosting this event.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from the ticket price of $250 will go directly to St. Luke Hospital in Haiti.  St. Luke Hospital provides high-level specialty care to over 75,000 Haitian mothers, fathers, and children per year.  This Haitian-led facility partners with institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, the University of Maryland, and the American Academy of Neurology and has developed programs that include surgery, critical and emergency care, neurology and radiology, as well as a separate wing for cholera patients.

At the event we will honor Raphael Louigene and Esther Desire, two of the over 1,000 Haitian staff employed by the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti.

Raphael grew up in Simon Pele, one of the most challenging neighborhoods of Port au Prince, and went on to receive his EMT training in the U.S. before returning to serve as a co-founder of St. Luke Hospital.

Esther, a technician, worked extensively in St. Luke’s cholera center and now manages one of St. Luke’s social service programs.  She also is an accomplished singer who shared the stage with Andrea Bocelli in Milan.  Read here for more information on her story and to catch a brief video of her beautiful singing.

The event is open bar with light hors d’oeurves and will feature a performance by Esther, as well as words shared by Kenneth and Adriana and a short video on the work of the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti.

To see a brief video on the history of the organization and its founder, Father Rick Frechette, please see here

To purchase tickets please see here

If you have any ideas for businesses that may be interested in sponsoring the event or donating items for silent auction, please let me know or write to Wynn at info@stlukehaiti.org.

NYC Party Invite-italian-03

10dicembre

In the largest slums of the western hemisphere and one of the worst in the world, Cite Soleil, brick after brick, house after house, the Haitian run organization St Luke Foundation keeps on working to make Haiti a better place to live for thousands of children and families trapped in poverty, forgotten by the world, 4 years past the earthquake, a cholera outbreak and 2 hurricanes.

In this place Father Rick Frechette, American priest and doctor in front line, since 26 years at the head of humanitarian organization NPFS and St Luke Foundation, with his team of Haitian young leaders and in collaboration with the local community, under the project called “Fors lakay” have already delivered a house to 100 families, a bakery where young people can be trained to be bakers and make thousands of daily breadrolls for their people, the Saint Mary family hospital and a water distribution system.
Within “Fors Lakay” thanks to a collaborative effort between the St. Luke Foundation, ACD (Action chretienne pour le Developpment) and CVR/MINUSTAH, on 8th November, 22 permanent homes have been officially delivered to impoverished, marginalized and disenfranchised people, with the aim of strengthening the families, providing homes to displaced ones, restoring the condition of a dignified life, reducing violence, and providing employment for the residents of this extremely impoverished community, whose members actively participated in this process of construction, not just of buildings, but also of Peace.

For the inauguration ceremony of the 22 houses, 2 stars, Hollywood Academy Award winner Paul Haggis (APJ), and Hollywood actress Madeleine Stowe, have come from the US to bring light and the attention of the world onto this poor place, together with Italian actress Martina Colombari, testimonial of Francesca Rava Foundation – NPFS Italy.

The ceremony was attended by Thomas Kontogeorgos chief of CVR Minustah, a representative of the First Lady Sophia Martelly and the local authorities of Cite Soleil. The 22 houses were dedicated to Cilla, Italian UN official died in the earthquake, whose memory keeps inspiring concrete projects of hope and relief in Haiti, remembered by Mariavittoria Rava chairman of Francesca Rava Foundation- NPH Italy.

The ceremony saw the special participation of hundreds of children of the community asking for PEACE and the reading of a letter from Pope Francesco, who sent his blessing to the people and the works of Peace done in the community of Cite Fequiere.

The ceremony was closed by rap and pop songs from local groups and the beautiful Allelujah performed by Esther Desir, grown up in NPFS Kay Saint Helene orphanage and now working at the side of Father Rick Frechette.

St Luke Foundation. St Luke and NPFS, represented in Italy by Francesca Rava Foundation, provide education to over 10,000 students annually, medical care to over 200,000 annually, a Home for 800 abandoned children and employment to 1800 permanent staff. Each program, run by skilled and trained Haitian people, has the ultimate goal of saving lives and providing opportunities.
www.stlukefoundation.org,

CVR/Minustah

MINUSTAH’s Community Violence Reduction (CVR) section, in coordination with its implementing partners and local authorities, targets Haiti’s most destitute and marginalised urban neighbourhoods which are chronically prone to measurable levels of community violence. CVR executes projects to reduce the draw of criminal activities offering livelihood opportunities to at-risk youth and other vulnerable groups, high labour-intensive environmental and infrastructural projects and economic and social reintegration activities.

CVR also provides initiatives to support detainees and prison-inmates, women and girl survivors of violence, promotes anti-violence and health sensitisation messages and encourages civilian-military dialogue through military-implemented community improvement programmes. CVR collaborates closely with its Haitian counterparts regarding areas and types of intervention with a view to the future transition of community violence reduction initiatives to the Government of Haiti.

K E N N E T H C O L E & A D R I A N A L I M A join forces to celebrate two heroic community leaders working tirelessly to rebuild their country.

Kenneth and Adriana are true friends and supporters of the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti, and have been inspired to share their passion for Haiti and their belief in the St. Luke mission by hosting this event. The event will be widely covered by main stream press and will feature over 300 attendees from the fashion, entertainment, and philanthropy world.
100 % of the proceeds from the $250 ticket price will go directly to St. Luke Hospital in Haiti. St. Luke Hospital provides high-level specialty care to over 75,000 Haitian mothers, fathers, and children per year. This Haitian-led facility partners with institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, the University of Maryland, and the American Academy of Neurology and sustains programs that include surgery, critical and emergency care, neurology and radiology, as well as a wing dedicated to cholera patients.

The celebration honors R A P H A E L L O U I G E N E & E S T H E R D E S I R E , just two of the over 1,000 Haitian staff employed by the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti.
Raphael grew up in Simon Pele, one of the most challenging neighborhoods of Port au Prince, going on to receive his EMT training in the U.S. before returning to serve as a Cofounder of St. Luke Hospital.
Esther, a technician, worked extensively in St. Luke’s cholera center and now manages one of St. Luke’s vital social service programs. She is also an accomplished singer who shared the stage with Andrea Bocelli in Milan.
The event is open bar with light hors d’oeurves and will feature a performance by Esther, words shared by Kenneth and Adriana, and a short video detailing the work of the St.Luke Foundation for Haiti.

NYC Party Invite-italian-0310dicembre

The morning mass is always attended by the dead. If their number goes above ten, there are more dead at mass than living.

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I have a practice of going to get the dead. I don’t mean just before mass, going to bring their bodies to the chapel floor, to cover them with palls.
But in my mind, I go to find them.
This makes me very mindful of them personally during their requiem mass, especially since it is a daily event, in order for the mass not to become just a routine.
 So, I go and get the dead.
To do this, I travel inside of my mind to find them, I imagine the moment of their death, and I try to see them at that moment and show them compassion.
I imagine their un-readiness to die, their confusion and fear, their regrets about their lives. I imagine those they are leaving behind and their desire to cling to them. I try to imagine the dreams undreamt, their lives unlived, the love not yet shared, the joys cut short.
And then I speak to them, as a brother, a friend, a priest, a fellow pilgrim, and I wish them the deep assurance of faith, the light of God, the comfort of heavenly embraces, the trust that Providence will see to their cares on earth. And then the mass begins.
The other day, among the bodies, were two little coffins. The families of these two little ones were present. And as the rythmic lament of the kyrie began, so did unrythmic sobbing of the mothers.
As the deliverance songs were sung to the sway of incense and the sprinkling of holy water, so did other choruses of tears and wailing override the liturgy, and lead to a ferocious display of grief.
It lasted so long that I had one thought,
“At the end of the mass when we open the coffins, I want to see the faces of these children who generated so much love in their short lives. They must have been wonderful to produce such grief.”
The sacrament finished, and the eulogies given, we braced ourselves for the new onset of lament that always accompanies the opening of the coffins.
I gazed at the tender young faces, that had not even known five years of life, and I was pierced by their deep sunken eyes.
Cholera, again.
Cholera the thief,
Cholera the criminal, the stealer of life.
Cholera which can be avoided,
treated,
and even driven away.
If you are lucky, that is.
Lucky enough to have clean water, proper community septic systems, humane living environments, access to healthcare.
Here were two unlucky ones,
off to heaven to show God their sunken eyes
and look into His radiant ones,
leaving the hearts of their families torn asunder.
They came to us too late, too sick or already dead.
Cholera is alive and well. These two small children are the latest ones to prove it.
With regret and indignation, let’s agree to keep fighting it with all our might.
May these small children rest in peace, and may their souls before God work tender comfort of their mothers and fathers, their brothers and sisters, their families and friends.
Fr Rick Frechette
October 3, 2013
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