Showing posts from October, 2012

A Parishioner's Reflection on Haiti

(Linda Stillmaker is a member of St. Anthony's Parish in Renton, Wa.  We  recently traveled to Haiti for an immersion experience.)

Linda (center) in Port-au-Prince
On the 6th day of our trip, we traveled to St Anne of Hyacinth high in the mountains of Haiti. This was the day the Haitian people taught me the true meaning of how stripping away material things allows you to be closer to God. 
As we climbed the mountain on a rouged road, we saw the people’s way of life; living in humble dwellings, mostly one room structures, with a separate room used as their kitchen; feeding their families from the crops they grow, using their burro or horse, if they had one, to carry the crops down the steep mountain to sell and return with supplies.    I couldn't help thinking what a difficult life.
A man rides his horse through the market
As the day went on and I walked with and among the local people, I saw beyond a difficult life to what was their normal; mothers washing their children from a …

Haiti's Greatest Resource

One night in Haiti a few weeks ago, while I was accompanying a parish group looking to start a sister relationship, we had dinner with the president of Haiti's Notre Dame University. Msgr. Pierre-Andre Pierre spoke of the challenges that the country faces, and that his philosophy to address those is, "Get something started." I have been searching for words to write about Haiti since I got on the plane to fly out of Port-au-Prince. But, as I was reading this morning some of Paul Farmer's book, "Haiti After the Earthquake," a similar phrase stood out to me. Farmer mentioned that President Clinton, as UN Special Envoy to Haiti, would constantly remind them, "GSD" (Get stuff done!).

Farmer, as with many, many of the people that we met in Haiti would add the caveat that getting things done needs to be tempered with patience, foresight, and collaboration with the Haitian people. Pe JosuĂ©, a pastor in a mountain parish near Petit-Goave, said that NGOs (No…

Mission Sunday Homily from Deacon Bill Batstone

(Bill Batstone is a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Seattle)

When was the last time you had a deeply intimate and personal experience of Christ in your life; where you had an experience of Christ so intimate that you felt you and Christ were sharing the same experience of God; so intimate, where, just for a moment, you felt like you were standing in Christ’s sandals and seeing the world through Christ’s holy eyes and experiencing the world through Christ’s compassionate heart.

I have had such an experience of deep intimacy with Christ twice in my life. The first time was several years ago, when JT and I went on a pilgrimage to Israel. As we stood in the Garden of Gethsemane, I looked across the Kidron Valley to the Temple Mount and reflected on what Jesus must have experienced as he asked his Father “to take this cup of suffering and death away from him.” To love God and his people so much that you are willing to be tortured and die for them. It made me cry.

The second time I t…