The story of the connection between caring children from Holy Rosary Parish in tiny Pomeroy, Wash., and children in earthquake-ravaged Port au Prince, Haiti, continues.
You may recall that on March 28, Palm Sunday, a Sister of Providence and a candidate for the religious community traveled 115 miles, from Spokane to Pomeroy, to pick up $2,030 the dozen young people had raised for children in Haiti through a Lenten project. In addition to the money, the Pomeroy children sent along cards and photos to communicate with their Haitian counterparts.
On November 21, Sister Jo Ann Showalter returned to Pomeroy with a gift for those generous children: a packet of children’s handmade cards, photographs and drawings from Haiti.
The hand-to-hand journey of the correspondence between the children from two very different parts of the world tells a story of true caring. Sister Jo Ann carried the Pomeroy children’s correspondence on the first leg of the journey, from Pomeroy to the Provincial Administration office in Renton, Wash., and then to the Sisters of Providence International Centre in Montreal.
The next carrier was Sister Ghislane Landry, who delivered the packet from Montreal to Haiti, then started the Haitian children’s replies on their way back to Montreal. From there, Sister Judy George carried the correspondence to Spokane, where Sister Jo Ann brought them back to the offices in Renton. On Sunday, November 21, she hand-delivered them to the children in Pomeroy.
Joined by Sr. Mirlande Desire
Sister Jo Ann was accompanied to Pomeroy again by candidate Marita Capili, who has spent time as a volunteer in a Haitian orphanage. Also along on this visit was Sister Mirlande Desire, from Haiti, who is spending six months in Mother Joseph Province with the Sisters of Providence as part of an international experience for sisters in initial formation. Sister Mirlande is in her first year of temporary profession and was in pastoral ministry and catechetics before the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti last January 12 that killed 300,000 people.
Sister Mirlande speaks French, as does Sister Ghislaine, who included a two-page letter in that language with the packet of 10 cards from the sixth-grade Haitian children. The children decorated their cards, some enclosed a photo and some included their telephone numbers.
The messages were heartfelt and moving:
Fabienne Isaac wrote to Ami Maria that her house was destroyed in the earthquake and that her little brother was killed.
Catherine Dominique thanked Olivia for the money that was collected, adding, “I love you, Olivia.”
Cesar Jovenel, who shared his hobbies and his desire to become a doctor, told Cody Munyan, “God bless you for your help.”
Victor Jameson wrote: “Your help is very precious for us … God bless you always.”
And Ferril Roos ended his thanks by saying, “Next time you must come to visit (see) us.”
The correspondence from Haiti was a welcome gift for the children in Pomeroy, but the sisters got an unexpected gift, as well. Waiting for them at Holy Rosary was an anonymous $500 donation.
“They said they knew we’d be back,” Sister Jo Ann said with a chuckle.