U.S. Oblates are Living and Ministering Through Turmoil in Haiti


Thanks to Bro, Richard Cote, OMI

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bro. Richard Cote, OMI is in touch with U.S. Oblates who have served in Haiti for many years, through many crises. The current chaos in Haiti has been building for several months. Below are communications sent to Bro. Richard from Oblate Fathers John Heanult and Fred Charpentier

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Received 3-19-24

“I read that the US embassy in Haiti says they have a list of almost 1,000 US citizens asking to be evacuated from Haiti. No I am NOT on the list. As in the past RIDING IT OUT. Still a tense calm in Gonaives. However NO ONE can come in and no one can get out. We had our clinic this morning and about 22 patients showed up. Ran out of some of the supplemental medications we give, no longer available, but have the medication that treats Leprosy, have 14 on treatment.  I expect before long something drastic might take place because the people of Haiti can no longer continue this way unless the US, Canada and France want to send in several containers with hundreds of thousands of BODY BAGS.

Also a sign that something may be about to happen is the fact since yesterday many major networks have set reporters to Haiti  to cover what is going on. We see this even in our local news. Last piece of information, My yard person who has been working for us Oblates at this residence died Friday and having his funeral Saturday morning. He leaves his wife I married and 4 other young daughters.

Your continued PRAYERFULL SUPPORT is requested because without some kind of DIVINE intervention we will NOT get out of this mess.

My best of SPRING WEATHER wishes for you . It is already 97 degrees here as I write. Already looking forward to DECEMBE HAITI WINTER WEATHER.”

                                                                              May GOD BLESS YOU ALL  

                                                                                                                             Fraternally; Fr .John (Henault) O.M.I.

Received 2-13-24

“Rioting and looting continue here in Gonaives.  The Poor Clare Nuns convent that is just behind the big police station nearby were threatened and sought refuge with my Missionaries of Charity Sisters.  They have been here a week.

Tomorrow will mark the second week we are not able to go to the Leper clinic. Two major leper cases were brought to me, and despite not being able to do an official exam I have put them on medications right away. A 20-year-old girl I just saw about an hour ago has already lost permanent use of her 10 fingers. If infection sets in, they may need amputation.

Fr. John Henault, OMI

Just about EVERYTHING is SHUT DOWN. Friday, Mobs permitted the big open street market to take place, so my cook and housekeeper were able to go buy what food they could find for 2 weeks duration if necessary.  Everyone right now is just trying to get by one day at a time.  Along with Insecurity, FAMINE is a real problem. Gonaives is completely surrounded right now by several GANGS and there is no safe way in or out.

The Missionaries of Charity here are not able to buy the quantity of bread they need every day to feed all the patients at their hospice.  There is a shortage of basic necessities like fuel, flour, even rice.  Water purification systems are shutting down because of lack of fuel. We are sharing some of the misery that the Palestinians in Gaza are facing at the present time. 

The vow of perseverance that we take as Oblates is being sorely tested.  As we begin Lent, I pray in the days ahead that Haiti finds a RESURRECTION to what we have been living through these past couple of years.  Please continue to keep Haiti and the HAITIAN PEOPLE in your prayers.”

                                                                  Fraternally:   Fr. John (Henault) O.M.I.  

Received 1-24-24


Good morning Brother Richard. O.M.I. 

“Right now, we are completely hemmed in. Road out of Gonaives is blocked going South (Port au Prince) and North (Cape Haitian). Schools are closed as well as banks, all government institutions, and many stores.  Those that are open have little to sell at outrageous prices. I sent one of my workers to the best market we have in Gonaives Saturday with 7 items on my food list. He was only able to find ONE ITEM! Lucky for me I just bought 6 BIG JARS of homemade peanut butter and may have to lick it off with a spoon!  We expect things to get even worse between now and February 7th when we were promised by the prime minister he would swear in a newly elected president. We never came close to any elections. On the contrary gangs have taken over full control of Haiti. He has an ultimatum to LEAVE on his own before the 7th or be CARRIED OUT.  Also, this Friday 26th the Kenyan Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of sending 1,000 Kenyan Police to Haiti as part of and leading an international military force to help rid Haiti of the 200+ GANGS running the country now.

I was able to get to my clinic yesterday but don’t know how much longer it will be safe to do so.  We try to get information before leaving the property and take one day at a time. As you know with the kidnapping of 6 Sisters of ST ANNE last Friday, there is more tension in the Catholic Community. Still NO news of their whereabouts and NO ransom has been requested so far.

                                                                       Fraternally;   John Heanult, O.M.I.

Received 1-18-24

The situation in Haiti – – -unstable!

Fr. Fred Charpentier, OMI

Fr. Fred Charpentier, writes;  “A parallel army is organizing to oust the current government, put in a transitional one and go after the gangs, and prepare for free elections.  This is going on all over the country now, including Les Cayes.  Schools and businesses here have been closed since Monday (Jan. 15) and something is brewing it seems.  We all hope and pray for something better for the majority of our people who do not deserve what is going on right now.  Please continue to keep us in prayer.”

Fr. John Henault writes, “ALL the roads are blocked in town.  I was able to get to the clinic yesterday but would never get there today. It will be this way and intensify as we approach the 7th of February. Naturally banks, shops and businesses, schools are all closed. I’m hoping this is the beginning of the end of 3 years of dictatorship and GANGS running the country.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following report was issued by Reuters News on March 11: “Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced his resignation late on Monday, effective once a transition council and temporary replacement have been appointed.”

Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti and the Oblates who serve them.

For more information about Oblates in Haiti, click here to read: Close to the People: Oblates in Port-au-Prince – OMIUSA