Haiti

More information about our mission in Haiti can be found on the Haiti Update page. 

The Earthquake

The Sisters of St. Margaret began our ministry in Port-au-Prince in 1927. Click here to read the history of the Sisters ministry in Haiti.

We have worked tirelessly for the people of Haiti ever since. The earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010 has changed life in Haiti forever. Click here to read Sr. Marjorie Raphael's first hand account of what happened that day. Post-earthquake Haiti offers enormous challenges for the Haitian people, as well as unique and uncharted possibilities for ministry.  We began our ministry and established St. Margaret's Convent in Port-au-Prince in 1927, and have worked tirelessly for the people of Haiti ever since. Our convent has been destroyed completely.  Our Sisters are now in a house owned by one of our Associates, but are still without many of the basic necessities of life that we all take for granted. One building of the Foyer Notre Dame, our home for the elderly, has been badly damaged, and the other has been demolished.  Yet even as they struggle to meet their own daily needs, the Sisters are still ministering to others, particularly the children and the elderly.

Foyer Notre Dame

In 1962 Sr. Marjorie Raphael established the Foyer Notre Dame in Haiti, a home for elderly people who are alone or whose family is not able to fully care for them. The Sisters provide spiritual and material support in a safe and loving environment, support that includes terminal care and burial. This work has been in continuous service since 1962, and is supported entirely by donations. The Sisters are carrying on this work with only one building remaining. The other was completely destroyed and had to be demolished. The residents are still very fearful of aftershocks.

Money is needed for supplies and labor to repair this building and to take care of the residents. Donations are always needed for medical care, prescription and non-prescription medication, food, clothing, shelter, and burial costs for the residents of Foyer Notre Dame. For photographs of the current residents of the Foyer Notre Dame, click here and go to the bottom of that page.

For a list of the items that they are always in need of, click here.

 

Scholarship Program

The Sisters direct a scholarship program for children and young people who otherwise would be left out of school for lack of ability to pay even minimal fees. They are still trying to direct their scholarship program for children and young people who otherwise would be left out of school for lack of ability to pay even minimal fees. These funds permit any child in any school that is in danger of having to drop out of school because the parents cannot pay the minimum fees required. In the present economic situation, the Sisters Scholarship program has become a major pastoral and outreach work. Education is a precious privilege, the door to the future of this country and of individuals. The cost of tuition from pre-school to the end of secondary school varies from $250 to $1000 US dollars per child per year. We also welcome one time donations to the Sisters Scholarship program. For photographs of a few of the children involved in the scholarship program, click here and go to the bottom of the page.

For more information about the Scholarship Program, click here.

Ministries in Changing Times

The Sisters in Haiti spend much of their time on the road.

They travel to a great many of the patronal festivals of parishes both in Port-au-Prince and in the countryside. They are a source of strength to these parishes and provide a ministry of presence and encouragement.

They help with communion at Holy Trinity Cathedral when they are in Port-au-Prince.

Sr. Kethia teaches a confirmation class every Sunday at Holy Trinity Cathedral when she is not in the countryside.

Sr. Marie Margaret is on a number of committees within the Diocese and attends frequent meetings in this regard

The Sisters travelled all over Haiti to participate in the various celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Haiti. At the invitation of Bishop Duracin, Sr. Marie Margaret was pleased to attend the Te Deum service at the Palais National. Sister represented the “Religions pour la Paix” (Religions for Peace).

They attended a service called “Religion for Peace” in memory of the practitioners of Vodou (Voo Doo) that were killed because it was believed that they spread cholera. This was also an anti-cholera service in partnership with USAID and UNICEF.

Sr. Marie Margaret and Kethia teach spirituality at the Seminaire de Theologie - Eglise Episcopale d'Haiti (STEEH), the Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in  Haiti.

Donations For Haiti

Donations are needed to cover the substantial expenses for the Sisters and those they minister to, including those at the Foyer Notre Dame. Renting housing that is safe and adequate for the needs of the Sisters is very expensive. Other expenses include:

  • Food
  • Communication needs
  • Production of vocations materials to increase the number of Sisters
  • Preparation and screening plus training and support for the next postulant
  • Medical and dental insurance for the Sisters
  • Transportation expenses
  • Education expenses for the Sisters
  • Legal fees for immigration issues
  • Shipping

Material Donations to Haiti

The Sisters are currently unable to receive ANY material donations for Haiti at the Duxbury Convent. This includes any clothing, shoes, food items, etc. Material donations may be sent directly through Apape Flights to:

St. Margaret's Convent, P-au-P
c/o Agape Flights
100 Airport Avenue
Venice, FL 34285-3901

In addition to the cost of postage to mail items, the Sisters must also pay Agage per pound for the items that they recieve. Please contact Sr. Marie Margaret before sending any donations down by Agape. Sr. Marie Margaret's cell number is 011-509-3443-3683 or email mariemargaretssm@yahoo.com. Please be patient when calling or emailing Haiti. Electricity is often shut off and cell phone service is very sporadic.

Monetary donations should be mailed to:

The Sisters of St. Margaret
50 Harden Hill Road
P. O. Box C
Duxbury, MA 02331-0605

All checks should be made out to The Society of St. Margaret

You may also make a donation online by clicking on the Donate button to the left of this page.

 Altar Linen Project

The Altar Linen Project, which sells handmade altar linens made by women in Haiti, has resumed production. Click here to view the catalog. Please contact Sr. Marie Margaret at mariemargaretssm@yahoo.com for more information.

To read more about the latest news from Haiti, click here.

Contacting Haiti

For more information on the work of the Sisters in Haiti, contact:

Please be patient when calling or emailing Haiti. Electricity is often shut off and cell phone service is very sporadic.