Haiti: Letter from Polish Daughter of Charity

Easter edition of  PATRON, the weekly bulletin of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY brings us the letter sent to Fr. Jaroslaw Lawrenz CM, days before Easter from Sr. Lila COCHLA, D.C. from Province of Krakow who is working in Haiti for couple of years. After vacation in Poland she returned to Haiti soon after the earthquake.  Fr. Lawrenz was a missionary in Haiti before coming in to New England Province.

Additionally PATRON gives information about Lenten Gift from children of St. Stanislaus Kostka parish. Children were collecting their pennies during the Lent to donate them for needy and poor in Haiti. During the Way of the Cross on Good Friday, children put all their collection of $700 in total on the altar. On this occasion Fr. Jaroslaw Lawrenz, Fr. Jan Szylar and Mr. Krzysztof Gospodarzec are grateful to all children on behalf of  Daughters of Charity in Haiti for their donation.

Ten artykuł, łącznie z listem, jest dostępny po polsku w serwisie

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Dear Fr. Jarek,

My cordial greetings from Haiti.
It’s already two months since my departure from Poland. I know, there were numerous news in radio and TV about Haiti, but I want to share some of my impressions. First of all, I want to thank the entire parish [St. Stanislaus Kostka, Brooklyn, NY] for continuous prayers and donations, which are our power and strength. Upon my return, Daughters of Charity have organized a clinic in tents on soccer field so that as many people as possible could have access to medication. Most of the people are sick, either physically or spiritually. Children, most often, suffer from upper respiratory tract inflammation due to sleeping on streets, in makeshift tents, in rain alternating with dust, often lacking drinking water or receiving it like medicine and without regular meals. Such dramatic situation leads to anemia and malnutrition.

After the emergency assistance, a first stage, Sisters decided it was necessary to go outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince, to recognize people’s needs in the region. It turned out, that situation there is very similar to the one in the Capital. Everything devastated. State highway is not passable in many places. For almost a week we, the Sisters, stayed in hardly reachable places in the mountains, where people have no transportation capacity. As we did in the Capital, we undertook medical consultations. After a week we returned to Port-au-Prince. Next, for another week, we moved to other part of the country, further to the east. There we saw the same situation as previously.

I believe, right after Easter we will move again to another part of the country. In the meantime we have to leave the school field where we dwell and where the tents are installed. Last Friday [before Palm Sunday] another strong downpour hit our location flooding it completely. Our small tents looked like islands in the sea, all wet. We didn’t sleep all night trying to form drainage with sweeping brushes to drain out water from the field. After day long intensive work in field conditions each one of us was exhausted. But I was thinking to myself: “at least we have food, the poor people did not even have a tent and eat either once a day or not at all”. Quickly, I dispelled my lamenting on myself! To days later, we had to set up tents in new campsite and move everything spared from our collapsed house [Provincial House]. Looking forward to better future, we have started to organize our new house-to-be in the garden.

On behalf of the poor in Haiti, grateful for all the assistance,

Sr. Lila Cochla,
Daughter of Charity


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