In April Fr. Rick Frechette was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in Haiti as he returned from burial duties for the destitute dead. Two other members of his team were also injured. He is receiving excellent care and is recuperating from his injuries. We are including parts of his narrative describing his ordeal to remind us of the importance of perspective and affirming that the blessing and right for quality medical care is a human right deserved by everyone.
Today marks two weeks since the motorcycle accident on the way from Titanyin to Tabarre (after burial of the destitute dead), left myself and two other members of our team wounded.
Look at the richness of the generosity toward myself when I was in urgent need (a priest suddenly a penitent, a doctor suddenly a patient, and a strong leader suddenly a fallen team member).
I was airlifted from Haiti to Miami… I was give first class treatment and a private room … My CT scans and case were reviewed even by a trauma physician of the White House … This was all just frosting on the cake, the cake being all the efforts on every side to organize the saving of my life (from hemorrhagic shock).
St Paul was knocked off his horse, and remained blind until he could see in a new way, that was useful to the building of God's reign. I was knocked off this motorcycle, and began right away re-seeing many things which had become somewhat dormant over these years, yet were part of my original calling to try to be useful to the building of God's reign.
Dormant yet reawakened.
As I was cared for so graciously, I often pictured the other two injured team members, Emmanuel and Lenz.
I pictured them in their shanty shacks, lying on the floor, far from water and toilettes and help if they needed it.
I called them often to see how I could send medicines, some clothes, have them reevaluated.
My own great care made me aware of their limited care, and eager to try to fill in the gaps that i could.
I missed for them what I had for myself. I am glad I had it.
I miss it for them. I am more committed than ever to try to even the field of blessing, to make it reach the poorest of people.
My own great care made me picture the children at St Damien's Hospital, the adults at St Luke Hospital, the old people in Cite Soleil whose physician I am, the sick poor I care for at Sans Fils and St Joseph.
I would see them in my hours and hours of sleep. Wishing for all of them the same courtesy, the same first class treatment, the same kind greetings and promise of prayer, that I have known.
It is fully it's own powerful medicine, I have been held up by love and its healing force. I am more committed to spreading this powerful medicine as well, to the people far from this blessing.
This time of convalescence is a great satisfaction to me: it is the proof that I have set up strong and independent leaders and teams in Haiti, who know what to do and don't need me to be there.
If I had been more seriously injured in the accident, or killed, there is no part of the institutional work of NPFS or St Luc programs that are dependent on my person.
For sure I bring a certain richness to the work in Haiti, as does each person.
For sure I have my own work to do in Haiti:
I am eager to get back to this, my work. Thank you for your help, your concern, your friendship, your prayers. Be sure of mine for you. Fr Rick Frechette
Prepared by Bro. Brian McLauchlin, SVD and David Horvath, Passionist Solidarity Network
Why did Pope Francis deliberately mention Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day during his September 2015 address to the U.S. Congress. We have prepared a list of resources indicating why these prominent U.S. prophets Thomas Merton can be easily connected with the Pope's Year of Mercy.
Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day – The Year of Mercy
A Selection of Resources
Click here for a PDF file with these resources.
Resources provided as preparation for the June 14-16 annual province assembly of the Passionist Family of Holy Cross Province at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center in Detroit, Michigan. The provincial and council set the agenda, asking the group to reflect on Laudato Si’, the encyclical by Pope Francis, and its implication for our personal and communal lives.
The Passionist Family of Holy Cross Province met from June 14-16, 2016 for their annual province assembly in Detroit at the St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center. The provincial and council set the agenda, asking the group to reflect on Laudato Si’, the recent encyclical by Pope Francis, and its implication for our personal and communal lives.
Over 100 participants were fortunate to have engaged two of the most prominent people in the field of religion and ecology to facilitate our meeting. Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grimm are both senior lecturers at Yale University as well as the Divinity School, co-directors of the forum on religion and ecology, leading experts in the role of faith-based organizations in global efforts to care for the Earth, and students of Thomas Berry when they did graduate studies with him at Fordham University. Mary Evelyn served on the International Earth Charter Drafting Committee from 1997-2000 and was a member of the Earth Charter International Council until 2012. John is President of the American Teilhard Association.
Mary Evelyn and John brought a breadth of knowledge and experience and helped us engage the message of Laudato Si’. In the weeks before the assembly, participants were asked to prepare with some readings and videos to form a good basis for the meaningful conversations we had about some of the major issues facing our human family at this time.
The “assignments” were divided in four parts, and questions: [Click on the question titles to read a PDF version]
We offer these background materials for everyone who might want to further engage these issues in their own small groups or communities. The links will open PDF files with additional links to take you directly to the resources.
Also see Fr. Joe Mitchell's article on Earth Day 2016
EarthJustice Fighting Against Fracking
Fracking: Using millions of gallons of water and secret chemicals, oil and gas companies crack open underground rock formations, forcing deposits of oil and gas tucked deep within the earth up to the surface. This controversial process, combined with industry deregulation, has landed our country smack in the middle of an ill-timed oil and gas rush.
Seemingly determined to get every last drop of oil and pocket of gas, the industry has worked itself into a 31-state frenzy, drilling next to homes, schools, even in the middle of cemeteries. They’re polluting air and water, making people sick, hurting communities and delaying our transition to clean, safe, renewable energy.
Now People are joining together to fight back
And Earthjustice is fighting alongside them—in the courts and in communities. Every day we are fighting to keep fracking out of places where it doesn’t belong, working to protect people impacted by this dangerous practice, and challenging fracked oil and gas infrastructure project that will lock us into a future dependent on fossil fuels.
Together, we can keep communities safe and help our renewable energy economy flourish.
The April issue of St. Paul of the Cross Newsletter features a story about Fr. Jim O'Shea and his work with the Reconnect Brooklyn project.
"The one thing I hope all these guys take away is that my life matters," says the Rev. Jim O'Shea, the latest New Yorker of the Week. "Am I perfect? No. Am I a saint? No, none of us are. But my life matters. And there actually are people in the world that will stick with me and stay with me long enough to discover that." Jim is the founder of Reconnect Brooklyn which employs dozens of men ages 17 to 24 at three businesses in Bedford-Stuyvesant: a café, a bakery and a graphics company.
Read the newsletter here