Haitian Catholics Honor Victims of 2010 Quake at Queens Church

People stroll previous the destroyed Sacred Heart Church in 2010 in Turgeau, Haiti. Jan. 12 marked the 12 anniversary of the magnitude 7.1-magnitude earthquake that rocked the Caribbean nation. (Photo: CNS/Bob Roller)

CAMBRIA HEIGHTS — For Haitian Americans and immigrants, Jan. 12 is a solemn day of remembrance.

Twelve years in the past, an enormous 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook their Caribbean-island homeland, killing greater than 300,000 folks, critically injuring one other 250,000, and leaving about 1.3 million folks homeless.

The lives of those that died through the 2010 quake, have been commemorated throughout a night memorial Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Cambria Heights hosted by the Haitian Apostolate for the Diocese of Brooklyn. 

Haitians and historians agree the aftermath of that quake set the stage for a spate of lawlessness and political corruption that has gripped the nation for a dozen years. Another earthquake and the assassination of Haiti’s president, each final summer season, have saddled the nation with much more distress.

Yet Haitian Catholics, who make up about 56% of the inhabitants — have relied on their religion because the nation contends with the continued strife.

Among the individuals who attended the Mass was Harold Dasque of Valley Stream, New York. He is a member of Queens-based Haitian Americans United for Hope, Inc., which works with Haitian immigrants. He mentioned the group has shut ties with Sacred Heart Parish, so he typically worships there.

“What happened in January of 2010 has affected so many people,” he mentioned. “And yes, human beings continue to mess up and mismanage Haiti. But people only can rely on prayers to see if Haiti can ever change, because God is so powerful. He is in control.”

Father Hilaire Belizaire, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish and the director of the Haitian Apostolate, referred to as it “a day of profound sadness.”

Haitian Catholics attended a Mass at Sacred Heart Parish in Cambria Heights, Queens to commemorate the lives misplaced through the 2010 earthquake. The celebrant was Father Hilaire Belizaire (proper) Sacred Heart’s pastor and director of the Haitian Apostolate. Concelebrant was Father Daniel O. Kingsley (left), administrator at St. Clare Church in Rosedale, Queens. (Photo: Bill Miller)

“We all have a relative, a friend, or know someone who was impacted by this tragic event,” he mentioned.

But rays of gentle step by step illuminated the aftermath of the 2010 quake, in accordance with Father Belizaire. He has beforehand recounted how then-Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio instantly dispatched Creole-speaking monks from the diocese to Haiti to evaluate wants and supply priestly consolation to the displaced folks.

“It was the practical, down-to-earth support given by people from all nations which has struck us all,” he added. “Haiti became, at that moment, the place where God gathered all His people to work together.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *