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fr. Leandro's Trip

Father Leandro Visits  Haiti

For St. Camillus de Lellis, the founder of the Ministers of the Infirm, serving and witnessing in the field of suffering was of the utmost importance. Therefore, to serve God in the spirit of St. Camillus and our charism, visiting and working in the areas where disaster has struck is a vital part of our mission. To be present in the field, toiling alongside the survivors, we are better able to understand their challenges and aid them in recovery and resiliency.

To abide by this portion of the charism, Fr. Leandro Blanco, Executive Director for CADIS USA, and Fr. Aris Miranda, International Coordinator for CADIS International, travelled to Haiti this past May. They first made the journey from Port-au-Prince, the Capital city of Haiti located in the center of the nation, to the Southern Peninsula to visit the Village of Ranja where our 3-year recovery project is located. In their visit, Fr. Aris and Fr. Leandro attended participatory meetings with the community to assess the progress of the project and to receive feedback. They then made a journey with Bishop Joseph Gontrand Décoste, S.J. of the Diocese of Jeremie throughout the area to see the agricultural fields and clean water system designed and constructed with the support of CADIS.

Once the group had returned to the center of the village, Fr. Aris, Fr. Leandro, Bishop Décoste and village leaders sat down to discuss the final phase of the recovery project – the construction of a dual-purpose center. The center will act as a community and evacuation center with educational and community programming for the families in the village. The ground breaking occurred in July and the progress made has been extensive.

On their return to Port-Au-Prince, Fr. Leandro visited the Sister Ministers of the Infirmed to review their new project recently approved by the Board of Directors of CADIS USA. This project will be the renovation of a former animal barn into a community and evacuation center for the Village of Nazareth. The building will be constructed with weather-resilient materials and will serve 40 families including over 60 children. The renovation will begin in September with completion expected Spring 2019. The Sisters will provide academic enrichment classes such as reading, writing and math and classes and events that build community relationships within the families of the Village. Fr. Leandro’s visit allowed him to meet many of the children who will benefit from the programs at the center. You can see that their innocence and natural joy is infectious!

Fr. Leandro enjoyed his visit to Haiti and feels inspired by the beneficiaries of our projects there. His journey has reminded him of why we follow the charism of our founder, St. Camillus, and of the mercy and love of our Lord, Jesus Christ.