April 19, 2011

Lenten Programme: Soup and Substance (6)

The theme of the final Lenten Reflection in this six part series is “Haiti and the Ministry of Haven”. You are invited to engage with it by:

  • Learning about the ministry of Haven and the work of the Sisters of Mercy who volunteered in Haiti through Haven by:
  • Watching the presentation ‘Haiti and the Ministry of Haven’, a presentation by
    Kathy Higgins rsm, a volunteer with Haven in Haiti; and
  • Reading some information about Haven presented below.
  • Finding inspiration in the Scripture and Mercy Tradition
  • Taking Action

This Reflection is suitable for both personal and group engagement.


Haven is an Irish non governmental, non political, non religious organisation working to build sustainable communities, through the provision of housing, and emergency relief and by implementing community development programmes in Haiti.

By training, up-skilling, and employing local Haitian people throughout the year, Haven is creating jobs and encouraging local trade and industry. Schools, playgrounds, and community buildings are key elements of Haven's community building projects.

Haven’s shelter programmes run throughout the year. However twice a year, in April and October, Haven's Haitian workforce is joined on site by a team of volunteers who take part in an intensive Build it Week. While in Haiti, volunteers live and work on the building site in extremely basic conditions.

Since the earthquake hit Haiti's capital city, Port au Prince, on January 12th, 2010, Haven has been working in affected areas providing emergency relief to those most in need.


In this video, Kathy Higgings rsm speaks about her experience as a volunteer with Haven in Haiti.

Finding Inspiration


The New Testament implores Christians to treat those who are homeless the same way a Christian would treat Christ. -"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat . . . In that you did it for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me" (Matt. 25:34-35). Romans 12:13 speaks of opening up our homes for the poor, not merely giving money.

Mercy Tradition

It is better to relieve a hundred imposters
…if there be any such…
than to suffer one
really distressed person
to be sent away empty

The little book of Catherine of Dublin

Houses being built by Haven Volunteers

Taking Action

Engaging the Reflection on

What do you feel called to do as a response to your engagement with this reflection:
… at a personal level?
… in your sphere of influence?
… at a financial level?

Personal Action

You might like to respond with an action that is a change:
… of attitude
… of heart
… of mind
… of policy
… of funding priorities
Or you might like to join others in prayer and reflection on this theme.

Thank you to all who participated either in person or on the website in our Lenten programme ‘Soup and Substance’. For those who may wish to continue their interest in any or all of the topics covered, we offer the following website links to projects in which Mercy Sisters are involved or support.

HIV/AIDS: www.allafrica-sistertosister.org
Hunger in Africa: http://www.vita.ie/vita
Refugees: http://www.jrs.net/
Homelessness: http://www.projecthome.org/
Human Trafficking: http://www.stopenslavement.org/index.html
Bringing hope to Haiti: http://www.havenpartnership.com/

Messages to Mary Reynolds rsm - Director MGC

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