Haiti is no stranger to the forces of nature. Usually, they arrive in the shape of shaking ground, torrential rains and powerful winds that flatten landscapes and blow away dreams. Thankfully, forces of nature can also arrive as extraordinary people. Since 2009, Hôpital Sacré Coeur has been the home of two such embodied angels: Sister Maureen Boggins and Sister Ann Crawley, members of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace (CSJP).
Mercifully, Sister Ann and Sister Maureen arrived in time to lend their considerable talents to comfort a bereaved and battered community and to help it emerge victorious from the devastating effects of the 2010 earthquake. Then, they gracefully applied their particular skills and passions to some of the greatest needs in Milot. Sister Maureen taught the children, improved
local schools, and helped hospital staff learn English as a second language. Sister Ann, the daughter of an Irish builder, built houses for the blind, crippled, orphans and homeless families; and, aided people who live in desperate squalor with food, vegetable gardens and school tuitions. In the process, local trades people found work in the construction process, crafting beds, chairs, and tables, and sewing school uniforms.
The cycle of disease and extreme poverty can only be broken through multiple channels: economic development, education; and, of course, healthcare. The concept is simple: people who live in adequate shelters are more protected from the elements and less prone to illness and injury. Proper nutrition feigns off any number of diseases. Education paves the way to knowledge about preventative healthcare practices and increases the opportunity to gain employment. Steady income is a major factor in preventing many instances of ill health.
The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace was founded in 1884, in Nottingham, England. As their charter explains: “We are motivated, challenged and inspired by our charism of peace through justice. We share a sense of gratitude for who we are and enthusiasm for what we can accomplish together.”
The Sisters’ achievements are impressive: 410 houses built, 150 plus students enrolled in school each year, trade school graduates now employed and countless empty bellies made full. In conjunction with the medical expertise, compassionate care and education provided by the staff at Hôpital Sacré Coeur, the mood in the region has changed over the years. “The people are now confident we will not abandon them. They are confident there will continue to be support for Hôpital Sacré Coeur,” notes Sister Ann.
Hope is winning over despair. The spirit of the people remains vibrant and resilient, despite the harsh conditions and challenges poverty inflicts on them — especially now. The potent combination of excellent medical care and tender-hearted, practical outreach have ignited a fuel in the hearts of Milot residents, one that has sparked the dream for a better life and helped them press through unprecedented times. “Visibly seeing this love strengthens my soul and makes me want to reach for more,” says Sister Ann.
For 11 years, Sister Maureen and Sister Ann met the needs of the times, living anew Congregation founder, Sister Clare’s call to be ‘brave, noble, large-minded and courageous souls.” Their love of the Holy focused their unique Spirit filled energies upon the most at risk people in the Milot region as they balanced the provisions of basic needs with individual servings of hope, love and understanding.
No matter the circumstances, the Sisters’ exemplary work will most assuredly continue. And their empathic eyes and spiritual resources will remain trained on their beloved friends and (as Sister Ann calls the children) “rascals” in Milot.
The CRUDEM Foundation and Hôpital Sacré Coeur have initiated a food program that continues and builds upon the Sisters’ tireless efforts to meet the greatest needs in the Milot region. The goal is to pack one million meals — through nationwide, safe-distanced food packing events staffed by PPE equipped volunteers — to be distributed in the coming year, in the Milot region. This project acts as a buffer between the very harsh realities of the current situation and the need for those most at risk to survive this temporary crisis and partner for affective change.
Extreme food insecurity and famine relentlessly overtake more of Haiti. People are hungry, not in the aching way someone feels when they miss a couple of meals. On the verge of starvation, people sense the encroachment of a darkening shadow that signals the end is near and there is no promise of a tomorrow. Daily, many parents face a Sophie’s Choice: which child has the greatest likelihood of survival and therefore gets the abysmal amount of food available. The blind, the infirm, orphans and infants — the focus of the Sisters’ outreach — are particularly vulnerable. As a time tested, compassionate, effective community, CRUDEM, Hôpital Sacré Coeur, and their supporters, can turn around this dire trajectory.
Saving Lives is What We Do.
Anchoring Hope and Reaping Success —
in the Most Inhospitable of Circumstances —
is Our Divine call … and Our Privilege.
Sister Maureen, Sister Ann and the staff of Hôpital Sacré Coeur have chosen to live not as bystanders, but as active participants with Divine Love transforming northern Haiti into a region where justice, peace and realistic hope thrive.
In order to succeed on this journey, we need each other. We cannot do it alone.
—St. Mother Teresa
You, too, are Extraordinary Angels of Milot.
Please, Send a Generous Donation Today to Ensure that the Miraculous Work of Hôpital Sacré Coeur and the Stellar Legacy
of Sister Maureen and Sister Ann Continues.
With our deepest gratitude for YOU!
Harold Prévil, M.D.
CEO, Hôpital Sacré Coeur
Sister Ann Crawley, C.S.J.P.
Hôpital Sacré Coeur Outreach
David G. Butler, M.D.
Chairman and Medical Volunteer
P.S. YOU can make a tremendous difference! Please, send your tax-deductible donation by October 31st. Remember: 100% of your donation goes directly to patient care programs.
P.P.S. If you are interested in sponsoring or participating in a safe-distanced, food packing event in your area, please contact CRUDEM at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!