Haitian Community: Mary Mother of God and Independence Day Mass

January 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Director's Blog, Haiti

Cardinal Sean O’Malley celebrated Mass for the Haitian Community at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on January 1, 2014 not only to ring in the New Year and Celebrate the Church Feast of Mary Mother of God but to also celebrate the 110th anniversary of Haiti’s Independence.

On January 1, 1804, Haiti, located in the West Indies, made history by being the first Black Country to gain its independence. Haiti’s original name was “Ayiti, Quisqueya, Bohio.” It was a name given by the original inhabitants who lived there. After Christopher Columbus discovered the Island in 1492, he named it “Hispaniola,” meaning “Little Spain,” in honor of the Spanish crown. It became an important part of the Spanish Main. Almost two hundred years later, Spain ceded the western third of Hispaniola to the French at the Treaty of Ryswick (1697). The French colony became known as Saint Domingue. Saint Domingue in the 18th century became the richest colony in the Americas. The capital, Cap Français, becomes known as the Paris of the New World. Actually, it was a slave colony dedicated to the production of sugar–a commodity of unprecedented value. The French operated Saint Domingue with unprecedented cruelty in an age in when slavery played an important role. The half million slaves on the island were terrorized into submission. Floggings were common place. Slaves were punished for minor offences with the horrors of forced starvation and being buried alive. In 1789, the French Revolution occured in France and the reverberations were soon to reach Saint Domingue (1789).

 

The Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) was a slave revolt in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, which culminated in the elimination of slavery and the founding of the Republic of Haiti. The Haitian Revolution was the only slave revolt which led to the founding of a state. It is generally considered the most successful slave rebellion ever and was a defining moment in the histories of both Europe and the Americas. The rebellion began with a revolt of black African slaves in August 1791 and ended in November 1803 with the French defeat at the battle of Vertières. Haiti became an independent country on January 1, 1804.

The Haitian people to this day are a proud and faithful community. The Mass this past Wednesday was filled with joy and singing.

 

Here are a few pictures I was able to take after Mass. If we get some pictures later on with the Cardinal we will add them to this post.

 

Most of the Haitian Priests in the Sacristy after Mass

Most of the Haitian Priests in the Sacristy after Mass

 

Haitian Choir from St. Matthew Parish in Dorchester

Haitian Choir from St. Matthew Parish in Dorchester

 

A few members of the Choir up close

A few members of the Choir up close

 

Fr. Bill Joy, Pastor of St. Matthew in Dorchester with the Choir

Fr. Bill Joy, Pastor of St. Matthew’s in Dorchester with the Choir

 

Edocy Aldeus and Magalie L. Olivier, two faithful members of the Community of St. John's in Cambridge

Edocy Aldeus and Magalie L. Olivier, two faithful members of the Community of St. John’s in Cambridge

 

Genty Family with Mary Lourdes Daceus and some of her children

Genty Family with Mary Lourdes Daceus and some of her children

 

James and Michaelle Sylvestre and their daughter Sarah. They are part of the Haitian Charismatic Community of Waltham

James and Michaelle Sylvestre and their daughter Sarah. They are part of the Haitian Charismatic Community of Waltham

 

Mary Lourdes Daceus with her family members (Cassandre, Michaelle, and Joseph)of St. John's in Cambridge

Mary Lourdes Daceus with her family members (Cassandre, Michaelle, and Joseph) of St. John’s in Cambridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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