January 13 - “I have just returned this morning. I found priests and nuns in the streets, without homes. The Rector of the seminary survived, as did the Dean of Studies, but the seminarians are under the rubble. Everywhere, you can hear cries from under the rubble.
The CIFOR - Institute of Studies for the Men and Women Religious - has collapsed with the students inside, participating in a conference.
The nunciature building has withstood the earthquake, without any injuries, but we are all amazed! So many things are broken, including the Tabernacle, but we are more fortunate than others. Many family members of the staff were killed, their homes destroyed.
‘Port-au-Prince is completely devastated. The Cathedral, the Archbishop's Residence, all the great churches, all the seminaries are reduced to rubble. The pastor of the Cathedral, who survived the earthquake, told me that the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince perished under the rubble, along with hundreds of seminarians and priests who are under the rubble.’
Part of the heartbreaking reality of the Haiti earthquake is that many of those who would have offered their support to the shattered lives of the people of the island are themselves victims, an uncounted number also listed amongst the fatalities.
One of the poorest countries on earth, Haiti’s people have experienced a seemingly endless cycle of poverty, political upheavals, crime and natural disasters since it became the world's first black-led republic and the first independent Caribbean State in the early 19th century.
‘Last year floods hit; now the earthquake has shocked us with the extent of its devastation,’ said Martin Teulan, Missio’s National Director in Australia. ‘We are saddened by the news of Archbishop Serge-Miot and how many lives have been lost.
When the Victorian bushfires devastated people’s lives here a year ago, the greatest response we received for prayer came from the people of Haiti and the Caribbean – people who understand what it means to have little. Their prayers strengthened us. Our prayers will be greatly appreciated and encourage them.’
FULL STORY Eyewitness: Haiti aftershock (Independent Catholic News)