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July 15, 1994     The Message
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1994 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 from page 10 and increasing pressure on the ruling mil- a freeze in certain for- held assets. But no pain to the military without being transferred to the of poor in Haiti, said Wildeman. An Ameri- t lnvasion would equally cre- ind hardships -- an outcome no one de- said Father Wildeman. Schroering, a member Church, Jasper, has visited Haiti twice. Holy Family is twinned with the parish of Dupity. "From my visits to Haiti I am most amazed to find that as humans we just aren't that different from each other. Haitians love their kids just as we do and they want the same good things for their children. They just can't provide it be- cause of their situation," Schroering said. Holy Family has helped Dupity build a road to give the i: i i i!ii?!iiii  , ii !7 ?   , i: :i Renelle Fidele and Rose Michele Joseph dress event, a recent meeting with Father Dick travels to Haiti to provide some assistance. students are from St. Raphael, a community in Haiti. -- Photo by Father Dick Wildeman DON'T MISS THE ST. MATTHEW remote area better connections to the outside. "We also helped put in an oven for the commu- nity, so that they could start a bread baking business," Schroering said. Other projects include replacing thatch roofs with metal for the community buildings and starting a schol- arship fund to send deserving children onto high school and other higher education. "So far we have helped 10 older chil- dren with total gifts of $400," he said. Another visitor to Haiti is John Bradley, of St. Mary Church, Washington. Bradley joined Father Wildeman in a visit there in 1993. "I was sur- prised at how welcoming the Haitians were," Bradley said of his visit. "They have quite a few problems of their own, but they were very open and happy to see us and take care of us. "Watching the news about Haiti now, I feel a sadness. It's hard to express, but when you get to know the people and their culture you feel what they are going through better," Bradley said. He believes the twinning program leads to these closer relationships. i i i Father Wildeman agrees, meet their basic needs for sur- "From a Christian standpoint, vival. We can provide hope." we have a responsibility to do The twinning program does what we can to help Haitians just that. I III I I I [ I II Haiti Facts Haiti is located on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Ocean. It is less than 300 miles from the coast of Florida. It shares the island with the much wealthier nation of the Dominican Republic: Language: French and Creole (mostly Creole) Religion: 85% Roman Catholic, with large portion also practicing voodoo to some extent. Literacy rate: 20% Infant mortality: 123 per 1,000 children under one year old Typical parish size: 17,000-20,000 persons. Only 10% ac- tive in small faith groups or regular masses. But all mem- bers need ministering to in regard to baptism, confirmation, weddings, and with assistance in meeting basic needs. Priests are assisted by trained catechists. Catechists in Haiti resemble our pastoral associate, rather than merely teaching religion. Priests and catechists serve as community leaders --devel- oping and operating schools, medical and nursing facilities, dealing with issues of hunger, transportation and justice. I I I II On the parish grounds 421 Mulberry Street, Mt. Vernon, Ind. SATURDAY & SUNDAY ULY 23, 24 featuring ROAST BEEF DINNERS Sewed 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in air conditioned cafete ALSO FEATURING Ice Cream Sandwiches Ice Cold Drinks Novelties Corn on Cob Games Nachos Bingo Crafts Wheels Annual St. Matthew's 5-k Run & Walk & Children's Run, 6 p.m. 10 BEAUTIFUL QUILTS WILL BE RAFFLED OFF ,499 IN CASH I L I WILL BE GIVEN AWAY all invited to join in the fun? Students gather outside the school at Plaine du Nord, a parish school "twinned" With St, Joseph Chaurch, Vanderburgh County. Separate school sessions are held in the morning and afternoons. Schools, parishes, health care facilities and other Christian ministries are among the activities in Haiti supported by parishes in the Diocese of Evansville. -- Photo by Father Dick Wildeman Bishops' migration office gearing up to help resettle Haitians By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As Haitians by the thousands take to the seas in hopes of ob- taining asylum in the United States, the Catholic Church's refugee resettlement agency is looking for places they can live. Jesuit Father Richard Ryscavage, director of the U.S. Catholic Conference's Migra- tion and Refugee Services, said he's recruiting dioceses around the country willing to help re- settle Haitians who have been cleared for asylum. Father Ryscavage has been serving as negotiator between the United Nations High Com- missioner for Refugees and the nongovernmental agencies that are contracting to help process Haitians picked up at sea by the U.S. Coast Guard. MRS is one of several agen- cies providing staff to counsel the Haitians being processed aboard a ship anchored off the coast of Jamaica. A processing center is being built in the Turks and Caicos Islands, pro- jetted to open in mid-July. The United States June 16 began allowing Haitians inter- cepted at sea to apply for asy- lum, instead of being immedi- ately returned to their homeland. In just six days after the new policy took effect, 3,500 people were picked up. The Clinton administration an- nounced June 28 it would re- open a refugee camp at Guan- tanamo Naval Base in Cuba to accommodate the influx. MRS personnel will likely be among those helping Haitians prepare their applications at the processing center, Father Ryscavage said. Those granted asylum will feed into the refugee resettlement network operated by MRS. About 30 percent of the Haitians who have applied aboard the U.S. Navy hospital ship, Comfort, have been granted asylum, he said, so preparations are being made to resettle thousands of people. Florida Gee. Lawton Chiles has asked the federal govern- ment to help relieve his state's immigration-related problems by resettling as many new refugees outside the state as possible. Father Ryscavage said he expects the flow of Haitian refugees to be manageable. "We've had larger flows in the past," he said. "I don't see it as a difficult influx for our re- sources.  MRS relied upon diocesan networks in the past to help settle refugees from countries including Vietnam, Cambodia and Central America. MRS operates one of the cen- ters in Cap Haitlen.