More information about our mission in Haiti can be found on our Haiti Mission page.
Sr. Kethia Makes Profession in Life Vows
Friday, November 30, 2012, was a day of great joy for the Society of St. Margaret and for the family and friends of Sr. Kéthia Jean-Simon, SSM, as we witnessed her life profession at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
As we made the final preparations earlier in the week, the sense of gladness and excitement grew into a buzz of activity. Sr. Kéthia’s sister Frantze and our Associate Mme Nicole Vixamar joined us in us preparing.
The 10AM Eucharist and Office of Profession was beautiful. Sr. Marie Margaret received Sr. Kéthia’s vows on behalf of Sr. Adele Marie, the Superior of the Society of St. Margaret. Père Joseph Tancrel Diègue was the principal celebrant, assisted by a number of clergy, seminarians, and acolytes. Sr. Marie Thérèse and Gerta, one of our aspirants, read lessons, while Sr. Kéthia’s family brought up the elements at the offertory. Sr. Sarah sang the litany and blessed the ring. Following Père Rigal Lucas’ reading of the gospel, Père Frantz Casséus preached, both Associates. Père Casséus reflected on the call of St. Andrew, whose feast day falls on November 30, and on the call to the religious life which Sr. Kéthia has answered with a wholehearted YES.
We were blessed to have special music to express our joy. Holy Trinity Philharmonic Orchestra sent a quintet to play, National Soprano Nicole St. Victor sang, and Cathedral organist Daniel Prophète was at the helm. Along with hymns and classical music, the cathedral choir delighted us with a syncopated Haitian setting of the Lord’s Prayer in Creole, complete with hand drumming.
Although the profession took place on a Friday morning, well over a hundred joined our celebration. Along with Sr. Kéthia’s family and friends, associates, and cathedral parishioners, we were delighted to welcome Sister’s grade school director, Sr. Margareth , and several Jesuit friends. A number of Holy Trinity School students were excused from class to attend as well. Sr. Kéthia will have an extended congregation later this week as well: along with diocesan photographer Eddy Alcindor, Radio-Télé Guinen arrived with a television camera to film the service.
Later in the afternoon, guests joined us at the house for a reception. It was a lovely day to sit outside and enjoy each other’s company. And of course we had a cake, too!
A life profession is a joyful event for the extended community as it gathers together. It is also an occasion for us to reflect upon and renew the vows each one of us has made. Our baptismal vows, marriage vows, and other commitments require attention and prayer as we seek to keep the flame alive in our hearts and to nourish the steadfast spirit we need. May God’s grace give Sr. Kéthia the strength and joy to say yes to her call every day of her life, and may we all likewise seek to commit our lives more deeply to the Lord and to each other.
Our Ongoing Work in Haiti
More information about our work in Haiti can be found on our Haiti Mission page.
The Sisters in Haiti have been working hard encouraging and ministering in the Diocese of Haiti, Holy Trinity Cathedral, and mission churches in the countryside surrounding Port-au-Prince.
As part of the Society’s goal to increase the number of Sisters in Haiti, on Friday, Nov. 18th Sr. Sarah arrived in Port-au-Prince and received a warm welcome from our Sisters there. She will be sharing in the ministry of our community in Haiti and will preside at the Eucharist in St. Margaret’s House, the rented temporary headquarters for SSM in Haiti, three days each week.
The Sisters in Haiti have extremely important ministries with the children and the elderly. The Sisters oversee all aspects of the Foyer Notre Dame and the Scholarship program for children who need funds to attend school.
Foyer Notre Dame
In 1962 Sr. Marjorie Raphael established the Foyer Notre Dame in Haiti, a home for elderly people who are alone or whose family is not able to fully care for them. The Sisters provide spiritual and material support in a safe and loving environment, support that includes terminal care and burial. This work has been in continuous service since 1962, and is supported entirely by donations. The Sisters are carrying on this work with only one building remaining. The other was completely destroyed and had to be demolished. The residents are still very fearful of aftershocks.
Money is needed for supplies and labor to repair this building and to take care of the residents. Donations are always needed for medical care, prescription and non-prescription medication, food, clothing, shelter, and burial costs for the residents of Foyer Notre Dame. Go to the bottom of this page for a slideshow of the current residents of the Foyer Notre Dame.
For a list of the items that they are always in need of, click here.
The Sisters direct a scholarship program for children and young people who otherwise would be left out of school for lack of ability to pay even minimal fees. They are still trying to direct their scholarship program for children and young people who otherwise would be left out of school for lack of ability to pay even minimal fees. These funds permit any child in any school that is in danger of having to drop out of school because the parents cannot pay the minimum fees required. In the present economic situation, the Sisters Scholarship program has become a major pastoral and outreach work. Education is a precious privilege, the door to the future of this country and of individuals. The cost of tuition from pre-school to the end of secondary school varies from $250 to $1000 US dollars per child per year. We also welcome one time donations to the Sisters Scholarship program.
Donations for Haiti
Monetary donations are needed to cover the substantial expenses for the Sisters and to enable them to continue their crucial work. Renting housing that is safe and adequate for the needs of the Sisters is very expensive. Other expenses include:
- Communication needs
- Production of vocations materials to increase the number of Sisters
- Preparation and screening plus training and support for the next postulant
- Medical and dental insurance for the Sisters
- Education expenses for the Sisters
- Legal fees for immigration issues
All checks should be made out to The Society of St. Margaret and mailed to:
Please make sure to note that the donation is for the mission in Haiti.
You may also make a donation online by clicking on the Donate button to the left of this page.
The Rebuilding of the Convent
The convent building and the land were and are part of Holy Trinity Cathedral complex. The Diocese of Haiti is responsible for rebuilding the convent and the entire complex. There is no anticipated timeline for the rebuilding of the convent at this time. Bishop Duracin has given us information regarding how to donate to the fund that has been set up for the rebuilding of the convent. Contact us at email@example.com if you would like this information.
The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti announce the selection of Kerns Group Architects, P.C., of Arlington, VA, as architect of the new Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (Diocese of Haiti). Click here to read more.
Christian Century magazine reported on the progress of the rebuilding campaign for Holy Trinity Cathedral complex, which includes St. Margaret's Convent. Click here to view the article.
The Mother Susanna Window
The beautiful stained glass window dedicated to Mother Susanna has been removed from the stairway next to the chapel in the Boston convent. It previously hung in the Sister’s chapel in Louisburg Square. The window is being stored and will be shipped to Port-au-Prince when construction has begun. Donations are needed to cover the cost of removal from the Boston convent, storage and shipping to Haiti.
For more information on the work of the Sisters in Haiti, contact:
- Sr. Marie Margaret – cell 011-509-3443-3683 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sr. Marie Therese - cell 011-509-3448-2609 - email@example.com
- Sr. Sarah - cell 011-509-4712-3969 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sr. Kethia - cell 011-509-3299-8882 - email@example.com
Please be patient when calling or emailing Haiti. Electricity is often shut off and cell phone service is very sporadic.