Sisters of St. Joseph
2022 Lenten Journey with Our Neighbors in Haiti
“The Divine Persons are subsistent relations, and the world, created according to the divine model, is a web of relationships. Everything is interconnected, and this invites us to develop a spirituality of global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity.”
Pope Francis Laudato Si # 240
Rebuilding Haiti Through the Empowerment of Girls
Our relationship with Haiti finds us both looking back and looking forward. It began shortly after the devasting earthquake in 2010 and a phone call from the CSSJ U.N. Representative with the plea that Sisters of St. Joseph needed to “do something.” The search to connect with Haiti began with the question of what to do and the desire to make a difference. This led to the past 10-year relationship with the people of Leogane, Haiti. While we gifted ten girls with an education, we were also able to assist with certification for teachers and with the building of a new secondary school which was destroyed in the earthquake. Leogane is no longer another place in the world, but a place where we have made a connection and a difference…we with them and they with us.
That is also the message in the encyclical of Pope Francis, “Laudato Si” translated “On Care of our Common Home.” Perhaps, while we were helping the people of Haiti, they were expanding our view of being ONE… to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. You are invited in this 2022 calendar to reflect and be challenged by words of the “On Care of our Common Home.“ Blessings on your journey this Lent.
Click here to make a donation online (Choose Haiti Project in the dropdown menu), or send a check payable to:
Sisters of St. Joseph
5031 West Ridge Road
Erie, PA 16506
Memo: Mission Haiti
Weekly Lenten Reflections
Below are weekly reflections to use throughout Lent to prayerfully support Mission Haiti. You can also download and print a copy here:
Lent – Week One
“Yet access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights. Our world has a grave social debt toward the poor who lack access to drinking water because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity.” (Laudato Si #30)
What is my experience of having safe drinkable water? Do I ever say thank you when I use water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, bathing? I wonder what it would be like to go for a day without water. How would I feel about myself? About people who do have water?
Lent – Week Two
“The foreign debt of poor countries has become a way of controlling them, yet this is not the case where ecological debt is concerned…developing countries, where the most important reserves of the biosphere are found, continue to fuel the development of richer countries at the cost of their own present and future…access to ownership of goods and resources for meeting vital needs is inhibited by a system of commercial relations and ownership which is structurally perverse. “ (Laudato Si #52)
How aware am I of the source of materials that are in the things I use – clothing, electronics like phones, TVs, computers, food, packaging, personal products, chocolate, appliances, fossil fuel. Have I ever thought about contacting my senators and representatives about our regulation of corporations doing business abroad that bring all of this to me? What do I know about resources from Haiti?
Lent – Week Three
“Lack of housing is a grave problem in many parts of the world…having a home has much to do with a sense of personal dignity and the growth of families…In some places, where makeshift shanty towns have sprung up, this will mean developing those neighborhoods rather than razing or displacing them. When the poor live in unsanitary slums or in dangerous tenements, “in cases where it is necessary to relocate them, in order not to heap suffering upon suffering, adequate information needs to be given beforehand, …and the people directly involved must be part of the process.”(Laudato Si #152)
Do I take my home for granted? I have chosen where and how I live. Do my brothers and sisters in Haiti have that same choice? If not, how does that impact their sense of security, dignity, and well-being? How do the policies of my government determine this reality for the people of Haiti?
Lent – Week Four
“Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change. We lack an awareness of our common origin, of our mutual belonging, and of a future to be shared with everyone. This basic awareness would enable the development of new convictions, attitudes, and forms of life. A great cultural, spiritual, and educational challenge stands before us, and it will demand that we set out on the long path of renewal.” (Laudato Si # 202)
How are you called to participate in caring for God’s creation? Consider who and what influences your patterns to make changes for a better world. What efforts are happening in your local community that individuals, families, and the larger community can participate in? For Pope Francis, “everyTHING is connected” means “everyONE is connected.” Start a conversation about that quote with others.
Lent – Week One
“If we want to bring about deep change, we need to realize that certain mindsets really do influence our behavior. Our efforts at education will be inadequate… unless we strive to promote a new way of thinking about human beings, life, society, and our relationship with nature. Otherwise, the paradigm of consumerism will continue to advance, with the help of media and the highly effective workings of the market.” (Laudato Si #215)
What is the change you seek for your family and friends and for the world? What would it mean if you pursued this change? What would it look like? How can you influence the direction… for your family, local community and the larger community? As a member of a global community, in what ways do you feel that your vision of a satisfying life is affected by the need to constantly purchase and accumulate advanced technology?
Lent – Week Six
“An understanding of spirituality consists in filling out what we mean by peace which is much more than the absence of war. Inner peace is closely related to care for ecology and for the common good because, lived out authentically, it is reflected in a balanced lifestyle together with a capacity for wonder which takes us to a deeper understanding of life. Nature is filled with words of love…but how can we listen to them amid constant noise… An integral ecology includes taking time to recover a serene harmony with creation, reflecting on our lifestyle and our ideals, and contemplating the Creator who lives among us and surrounds us, whose presence “must not be contrived, but found, uncovered.” (Laudato Si #225)
How can you…do you live out God’s vision for healed and renewed relationships with self, others, and creation? Bishop Turkson has said, “the single biggest challenge is not scientific or technological, but rather within our minds and hearts.” How do environmental [problems connect back to spiritual problems?
Thank you for sharing Lent 2022 with us and the people of Haiti. Your generosity has made education possible for the girl-students for the past nine years. This year marks year 10. It is said and proven to be true that educating girls gives them the freedom to make decisions to improve their lives and lift their families and country out of poverty.
With gratitude for your donation,
Sisters of St. Joseph of the U.S. and Canada