September 5, 2008
With God’s people and especially with the faithful of the Diocese of Gonaives,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is with much sorrow that I address to you this message in these sad moments of our history. For one week, the entire country, from Jérémie to Jacmel, from Hinche to Port de Paix, from Port au Prince to Cap Haitien, faces this natural disaster without precedent.
Particularly the city of Gonaives is under water as in 2004 after the terrible passage of the tropical storm Jeanne which had left three thousand (3,000) dead among us. We are today once again confronted with apocalyptical problems after the passage of the Hurricanes Gustave and Hanna. Further, in the next days two (2) other hurricanes menace our people.
During the course of these hurricanes we have suffered many losses.The Cathedral, many schools, numerous churches and presbyters were damaged.
For four (4) days many Gonaivian families have been blocked in their houses without water or electricity. At the Bishop’s House we are accommodating more than five hundred (500) people including members ofthe clergy and their families. I your servant am suffering with these victims while trying my best to provide them assistance during thesetimes of bad weather which has affected all of Artibonite. For the present moment we have an urgent need for: drinkable water, food,clothes, beds, batteries, covers, bath towels, chlorine, mosquito nets, medicines, etc….
Already many people have succumbed in different regions of the country. Many more will die if we can’t get them the immediate support they require.
Thus in this terrible circumstance I am willing to address this message to you, God’s people, to help us deal with these many victims and the continued efforts of Caritas and CRS/Haiti to help with this chaotic situation. We seek, on behalf of the Haitian and Universal Church, to spread the Gospel of love, through actions with your support
God’s people, I exhort you to remain united in prayer so that God guides us through the way towards a new beginning.
Sincerely yours in Christ
Monsignor Yves Marie Péan, c.s.c.
Bishop of Gonaïves