AMERICA/HAITI - Camillian missionaries accompany the people exhausted by violence and hunger in their everyday lives

Thursday, 28 September 2023


Purcine (Agenzia Fides) - "People need a spiritual director who lives with them and helps them bear the burden of daily hardships," said Camillian Father Massimo Miraglio, who lives and works as a missionary in the country which continues to be under siege by armed gangs, while the population suffers from hunger and epidemics. The Italian Camillian priest, who has worked in Haiti for more than a decade, was appointed parish priest of the new Catholic parish in Purcine in August. "As a priest, I take on a direct responsibility towards the population that has welcomed me as a true grace," writes the missionary, whose parish includes 17 other villages. "The area is very isolated and the fuel crisis prevents people from bringing the country's products, the only source of food, to the market in the plains," he reports. Father Massimo, who has been working in the Camillian Mission in Jérémie, 200 km from the capital Port-au-Prince, for almost twenty years, emphasizes that in Purcine the church services and school lessons have until now been held in a tent. To reach Purcine from Jérémie it takes three hours by car and another four hours on foot. "I do not limit myself to administering the sacraments and celebrating the Eucharist," said the missionary, "I have also set up a small mobile clinic and launched some activities to support the most needy families. I rebuilt the small church, which also houses the primary school, built a tensile structure for the nursery and organized a small clinic." Amid the chaos that continues to reign on the island, more than 10,000 people have fled some central areas of Haiti after criminal gangs carried out a series of attacks in recent days, according to recent reports. On Tuesday September 26, a group of armed men attacked the University Hospital of Mirebalais, one of the country's main health centers north of the capital. Days earlier, suspected gang members armed with machetes, sticks and other makeshift weapons had raided a police station in nearby Saut-d'Eau. In this tragic context, the bishops of the Caribbean island repeatedly remind people of the desperation of the population (see Fides, 25/9/2023) and the United Nations is considering sending a contingent of blue helmets. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 28/9/2023)