Updated News: 1/23/10 According to the ROCOR delegation to Haiti the church building of our ROCOR Sts. Peter & Paul parish in Leogane was completely destroyed in the earthquake. The situation in Jacmel, where there is another mission parish, is “not too bad.”
January 15 it was reported that an Orthodox priest, Father Barnabas, escaped during the devastating earthquake in Haiti, which took place on 12 January this year.
A connection with another priest on the island, his father Paul, was established earlier. All family members of both clerics also survived, although their homes completely destroyed.
Father Barnabas and Father Paul are clerics of the diocese of Mexico and Central America of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, established in 1996 and is now headed by Metropolitan Athenagoras.
Both clerics, Haitian by origin, have been performing their ministry for over 12 years in their native island, and providing spiritual guidance to over 1000 Orthodox Christians, among whom there are both new settlers and local residents. They also take care of the three schools, in which are enrolled 1500 children from poor families. One of these schools was destroyed.
The American Orthodox Archdiocese of the Church of Constantinople and many other local Orthodox Churches have already begun collecting funds to help victims of the earthquake, regardless of their religious affiliation. Metropolitan Athenagoras of Athens on Jan. 15 sent a message to the circular letter, urging all people of goodwill to send money, because the acceptance of things is impossible for the time being, and the cost of assistance is very high.
January 17 – New York – The Fund for Assistance is happy to inform our supporters that both ROCOR priests in the Haiti mission and their families are alive.
“They are staying together and sleeping outdoors – afraid of more tremours,” said Matushka Sophia McKenzie who reached Fr. Gregoire Legoute by telephone on Saturday, January 16.
The mission’s main church of Nativity of the Theotokos in Port-au-Prince suffered some damage, but is still standing with its roof intact; the adjoining school belonging to the mission has been destroyed. There is no news of ROCOR parishioners yet.
Thank you Fr. John Peck for this update.