>>>We all should recall that Haiti was devasted one year ago this week by a massive earthquake and much remains ruined. But because of the efforts of so many there is some relief, some joy and hope. Can we continue our prayer for our brothers and sisters in Haiti and any support we can still give. Contact Catholic Relief Services.
May God have mercy on the people of Haiti!
Much of Haiti still in ruins a year after massive quake
By Catholic Online
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Haitian faithful still gather at ruined cathedral
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - One year later after a massive earthquake sent most of Haiti tumbling to the ground, much has remained unchanged. Once proud landmarks are still little more than mounds of rubble. Haitians considers themselves very lucky if they still have a roof over their heads, as much of the displaced populace still remain in hastily constructed tent cities.
Many of the faithful still come to what remains of the Cathedrale Notre Dame de L'Assomption. Mounds of pink and cream-colored concrete contain twisted steel rods, jutting out here and there like medieval weapons, a year after the quake. Shards of red carpet and shattered stained glass lie strewn about the rubble. The roof at the Cathedral has collapsed completely, letting sun and rain wear away at the sanctuary. "What took 30 years to build came tumbling down in 35 terrifying seconds," Moni Basu, a correspondent with CNN writes.
But - in an evocative illustration that points out that a church is far much more than a building, the faithful still gather there every Sunday. Some bring plastic or folding wooden chairs, as there is no place to sit. Others bring umbrellas, as there is no roof for shelter.
"Dear God," 54-year-old Pierre Richard Vinson, who prays here every day. "Forgive me for my sins. I am your son. After all that happened, you gave me my life, you gave me my health." Vinson, who has six children at home to feed says the Cathedral is the only place in Port-au-Prince where he feels calm.
Vinson had attended mass at the cathedral since he was a little boy. After the earthquake, after he lost his house, lost his job, lost every remnant of his life, he heard others say: This is what God did.
Vinson thought at first that perhaps this was God's wrath. How could God let his people, who have already endured so much, suffer like this?
As time went on, he looked inward for strength. He began stopping at the cathedral every morning, before he headed downtown.
Father Glandas Toussaint echoes Vincent's sentiment to the people who have gathered on this Sunday morning.
"Forget your suffering while you are here," says the priest, his voice booming through loudspeakers set up in the park in front of the cathedral's rubble.
"We will be happy."
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