- Jun 3, 2020
Catholic leaders in the U.S. have expressed their support for the decision of prolonging the Temporary Protected Status program for Haitians until at least January. The decision affects more than 58,000 Haitians in the U.S. who will have an opportunity to stay in the country after a powerful earthquake leveled their homeland in 2010. The worry is what will happen after the six month extension ends.
At a hilltop crucifix in struggling Haiti, some people held out passports, pleading for visas, or dog-eared photos of sick relatives. Others prayed for a loving relationship or a steady job while carrying beeswax candles and rosary beads, in an annual ceremony that blends traditional Catholic devotion with elements of Voodoo, a religion that evolved in the 17th century when colonists brought slaves to Haiti from West Africa.
Cooperation between the bishops’ conference, the ministry of health and the community helped create a new hospital in Haiti’s Southern coast. The facility provides health care to the area’s population already struggling with poverty and malnutrition.
Migrants seeking refuge in the United States aren’t only coming from Syria and the Middle East. There are large numbers of Haitians who are trying to enter the U.S. as well seeking refuge from poverty, crime, political instability and most recently Hurricane Matthew which devastated the Caribbean nation in October.
Pope Francis is always a whirlwind of activity and the last 48 hours have been no exception, with the pope meeting with elders and discussing the role of grandparents, confirming a day trip to Milan, and contributing to disaster relief in Haiti.
Survivors of Hurricane Matthew put on their Sunday finest and picked their way through downed power lines to sing praise and pray in ruined churches, while desperation grew in other parts of devastated Haiti and international rescue efforts began ramping up.