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Posted: Mon May 25, 2009 11:22 am
by Guysanto
Date: Sunday, May 24, 2009, 9:57 PM

Recommended HLLN Link:
Pere Jean Juste ... juste.html

Pastor St. Claire Church, Port-au-Prince

by Bob DellaValle-Rauth

Toward the end of April, my wife Adele and I felt a calling to visit Jean-Juste at Jackson Memorial Hospital in downtown Miami. He has been a close friend since we first met him in October 1993 at St. Gerard Church while he was in disguise and in hiding from the military leaders of the first coup against President Aristide.

Jean-Juste has been suffering from leukemia for 2-3 years, now in remission, but when he came back from his mission to Haiti in December, he was having severe difficulty in breathing. In early January, immediately upon his return to Miami, h e entered the hospital through the ER with this newly developed respiratory problem now diagnosed as bronchiectasis. It was at a very advanced stage, necessitating placement on a respirator over the past six weeks and is said to be irreversible.

We were able to be with Pe Gerry two days with help of his sister Francine and his younger brother Ken and wife Karene. It was obviously sad and heart-rending to us to see Gerry, as we always called him, flat on his back, unable to speak and basically motionless except for the respirator moving his chest – a fallen martyr for the poor. Father Gerry, as everyone knows, was always a strong, active man, tirelessly working for his people in Haiti. He has always had a passion for the poor. He continuously practiced “the option for the poor” and lived “Liberation Theology.”

Whenever Adele and I would ask if he has a message for us to bring back to the States, he would invariably ask the people of the U.S. to “pray for the poor people of Haiti, as sisters and brothers” and to try to share some of their wealth – “God's gift to all.”

Recently Orbis Books honored Brazilian Archbishop Dom Helder Camara by publishing an anthology called Essential Writings. Father Gerry and Camara's lives both have very significant similarities. Both were exceptional, uncompromising strongholds of Hope, Justice, and Love. Both were strongly denounced by the hierarchical church for sp eaking fearlessly and strongly for Justice and Freedom for the poor and promoting democratic principles. Father Gerry often shouted from the pulpit, “Ballots not Bullets.” He was anti-military and staunchly for nonviolence. He was a champion for Human Rights. Both he and Camara faced potential assassins and endured death threats. Both preached the Gospel fire of Love and Peace that they dearly tended and fanned.

At this point Father Gerry needs our prayers. His family - sister Francine & her husband Roosevelt & daughters Fayola, Suzanne & son Roossely & his wife Janelle; sister Josue & family; sister Yvette & husband Gabriel & family; younger brother Kerns & wife Karene; older brother Yves & wife & family; and many other family members - need our prayers to help make some very critical decisions. Father Gerry often asked for prayers for others, especially the poor, but now he and his family are in great need.

We ask all those organizations in solidarity with Father Gerry to send out prayer alerts. He and his family need us now.

Let us all rise up with a flood of prayers to God and Heaven!

With peace,
Bob and Adele

May 6, 2009

Forwarded by Ezili's Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network