August 09, 2005

The Catholic Church in Haiti

There are three religious communities I've been very close to and very interested in all of my life. They are the Sisters of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, and the fathers and brothers of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). In this post I'm going to concentrate on the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. Yesterday I got mail from the alumni office at their school in New Orleans informing me that my class is having its 40th reunion in September, and that freaked me out a little bit. Forty years? How can that be? I'm still a kid!

The Brothers of the Sacred Heart ran two big high schools in New Orleans when I was in high school, but they've since consolidated them into one. It has about 1,500 boys, and the President and Principal these days aren't Brothers. I had two lay teachers in the four years I was taught by the Brothers, but today Brothers are as scarce as hen's teeth, at least in New Orleans.

But this is the North. In the South, vocations to the Brotherhood are booming. Here are some pictures of five Brothers of the Sacred Heart who are making their final vows this week.

Haiti: Five perpetual professions August 15th






These guys aren't boys. They're grown men, and they're willing to give their lives to service forever for others as teaching Brothers. Based on my experience as a high school student in a school run and taught by teaching brothers, and based on my experience as a teacher in a public high school for many years, I can't imagine a better life for these men.

Source: click here.

I congratulate these five Brothers from Haiti, and I wish there was some way I could join them to celebrate their commitment to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the People of God. If you read my blog a few days back about the awful conditions in Haiti, the perpetual profession of religious vows by these five men represents a commitment to the poor. Notice that none of these guys is smiling. Why would they?