Dr. James Morgan Joins Hôpital Sacré Coeur Team
I am delighted to announce that James “Jim” Morgan, MD has joined the Haiti Health Promise team as US Medical Director of Hôpital Sacré Coeur. Dr. Morgan brings a wealth of medical experience, time logged on the ground in Haiti, and an infectious passion for the plight and promise of the Haitian people.
Dr. Morgan garners utmost respect and admiration in US and Haitian circles for the over 15 years he spent as a medical volunteer in the Cité Soliel section of Port au Prince — the worst and most challenging of Haitian communities.
We welcome Jim to the Hôpital Sacré Coeur family. His extensive experience in Haiti and familiarity with Haitian culture is a real blessing at this critical point in Haitian history. Dr. Morgan’s willingness to spend a prolonged amount of time in Milot is crucial to the Hospital’s clinical development. I know the Staff will appreciate his dedication.
Dr. Morgan hit the ground running. After time spent in Milot, Jim visited a northern New Jersey Catholic church and spoke at a Mass sharing his story about the stunning progress at Hôpital Sacré Coeur. In the process, he experienced the gracious spirit and tenacious devotion of Haitian Americans for their homeland. I hope you will be as inspired as I was reading Jim’s reflection on that weekend.
“I am still relatively new at Holy Name Medical Center, where my position has me wearing two hats. In Teaneck, NJ, I am the director of hospice and palliative medicine, often called “supportive care”, for those with serious and sometimes life limiting illness. In addition, I am also the US medical director of the Haiti program.
It’s in the latter context that I found myself one recent Sunday, as part of the Newark Archdiocesan mission appeal, at Holy Spirit/ Our Lady Help of Christians Church in East Orange, NJ. This was to be my very first foray into fundraising for Hopitâl Sacré Coeur and its mission of providing quality healthcare for the sick and the poor in the Haitian community, as well as providing health education for those who serve there. I’ve been involved with fundraising efforts in the past, and I know that they can sometimes seem mundane.
On this warm summer day, following the Gospel and the pastor’s homily, I delivered my remarks in the best Creole I could muster. I’d referenced Pope Francis’ remarks about heeding a calling to live lives of faith in action, and as I looked out on the congregation at this Creole Catholic Mass, I saw heads nodding in agreement. Not only their brains agreed, but their bodies clearly did too. Before Mass had begun, I’d spoken with several parishioners who, with accents thick and sweet as siwo myel (honey), had welcomed me into their community. The pastor, whom I’d met in person only the day before, reminded me that “This is your church. All are welcome. Come back anytime!” It was a welcome as authentic as the smiles on their faces, and as warm as the heat of this July morning.
Now, I gathered that the custom at this parish for the offertory is that people come up to the altar and place a donation into a basket, rather than passing a basket around for the “collection”. This time, there were two baskets set up, one of them marked for those who wanted to support Hopitâl Sacré Coeur in Milot, Haiti.
I sat near the front of the church and watched as scores of persons made their way up the center aisle, one after another, and dropped an envelope into the bold blue and red baskets, identical in hue to the colors of the Haitian flag. Not a few of the people were frail. One elderly woman seemed to be almost dragging herself forward. Leaning heavily on her cane, she moved ever-so-slowly but oh-so proudly in her Sunday best. Then she smiled a broad smile as she let go the envelope and her offering fell in with the others. More approached, and I could see signs of infirmity like gnarled arthritic deformities, or even labored breathing, with swollen legs. So too, there were tired looking young parents, who patiently escorted young children, allowing them to drop an envelope with their own hard earned lajan.
Regardless of the obstacles they faced in their own lives, it didn’t seem to matter on this morning. The countenance was always the same, from the young to the very old: I am one with my people, and I am glad to do for them and with them. Such countenance, a result of other-oriented action and based upon bedrock faith is, I believe, a near paradigm manifestation of the Pope’s invitation to us all to embrace the “Joy of the Gospel”. Francis does not eschew words, or books, but he reminds us that true Joy, a joy that nearly soaks us with the Creator’s love can be an amazing grace-filled outcome when we put our faith into action. And to witness that, well, is nothing short of inspiring.”
As Hôpital Sacré Coeur marches toward its sixth decade in Haiti, it rightly continues as ‘the people’s hospital’ — a safe, comforting, healing harbor in the midst of often rough and fearful national seas. Managed by Haitians and open to all in need, the hospital cares for the wholeness of lives not just individual bodies. Throughout the decades, Hôpital Sacré Coeur has answered to a higher calling and put love into action as it worked toward a vision of a better life for all. That vision includes the support of remarkable donors like you. While exceptional quality healthcare calls forth countless medical miracles, something more attends.
In 1882, Port au Prince and Haiti were dedicated to Mother Mary, Our Lady of Perpetual Help. On December 8, 1942, the country was consecrated in Mary’s holy name. After the 2010 earthquake, Pope Benedict XVI invoked Our Lady of Perpetual Help to save Haiti — as she is believed to have done many times. The national church of Haiti and the surrounding lands — a short walk from Hôpital Sacré Coeur — also was consecrated in the name of Mother Mary. Indeed, Hôpital Sacré Coeur sits on holy ground.
The physicality of Hôpital Sacré Coeur spins, clacks, and beeps in the bustle of tests taken, medications dispensed, and vital signs checked. In the busy midst, a palpable non-physical presence hoovers through the rooms and grounds — a mystical midwifery calling forth better angels and seemingly impossible outcomes. This oft remarked upon stalwart, loving protection undergirds Hôpital Sacré Coeur’s firm foundation and remarkable success. Mother Mary tending to her beloved flock? Many think so.
From where you sit, your faith, spirit, and devotion provides the essential anchoring of Hôpital Sacré Coeur’s decades long progress. Like the stalwart healing presence that hoovers through the hospital campus, your contribution is oft noted and cherished. You have transmuted death into life and fear into hope. The depth of our thanks to you is boundless!
Please donate today.
May you experience the Divine Joy of Faith in Action.
With my deepest appreciation and gratitude for YOU,
David G. Butler, M.D.
Chairman, Haiti Health Promise of Holy Name
Founded as The CRUDEM Foundation
Please, send your tax-deductible donation by September 15th.
100% of your donation goes directly to patient care programs.