Message from Fr. Rick Frechette, Friend of St. Louis

Today we received this communication from Jennifer Rayno, Director, St Damien Pediatric Hospital Fund.

I am writing to share Fr Rick’s latest reflection (below) with you and anyone you may wish to pass it along to that we are thinking about you!  I hope you are all finding ways to stay healthy, centered, and connected during these times of socially distancing.   Social distancing and good hand washing is a tall order in Haiti.  We are currently preparing St Damien as best we can.  Supplies are limited and hard to come by as evidenced in our own communities.  Please continue to pray with us for the entire world that will undoubtedly be touched in some way by COVID19 and most especially for those in vulnerable countries.

Lenten blessings,  Jennifer

You may contact Jennifer Rayno by email at

Dear Friends,

The world is totally different now, and we need likewise (and together) to learn to think and act in a totally new way. We have lit this candle in St. Damien Chapel today, and it will burn steadily for as long as it takes for the virus to no longer be a threat, anywhere on earth.

Will we have enough candles? Market shelves are emptying fast, of everything.

Since we made these candles from the wax of our own bees, we will be able to keep this icon lit for as long as we still have bees and honey. (Mead, which we also make, may be a good alcohol sanitizer.)

And we are committed to do likewise for masks, gloves, protective gowns and soaps, since the market shelves of the world are already empty of these: we will find a way to make them, calling forth the richness of creativity, the advice of the world wide web, and the traditions of centuries ago.

We are complying immediately with the government ordinances and worldwide recommendations.

All of this to comply with the effort against congregating people in numbers above 10.

Water deliveries are vital and will continue, as will other direct help to the poor in their neighborhoods.

Agricultural and aquaculture programs will necessarily increase, as will production of bread and pasta at Francisville. Similarly, we will attempt to increase the economy of poor neighbors by job creation.

If the government ordinances become prolonged, we will reorganize resuming care for the malnourished, and women in the pregnancy programs, the old fashioned way: by visiting them where they live, in their homes. (Always resisting the gathering of crowds and respecting some meters of distance between people.)

We also may come up with creative ways to help the school children, ways that do not involve internet, since most do not have access. Classes of nine children and a teacher could be considered, under a tree and far from the next. (It worked for Jesus and his twelve, Plato and his small groups of students, and countless others).

Our teams who will directly approach the sick, for medical, pastoral and humane care, and for housekeeping and ancillary services, will have the best protective garb possible in a country that cannot be well supplied in the face of the current global shortages.

Social distance is a good medicine, but abandonment, disconnectedness, or human isolation is totally toxic, for everyone involved. The candle aflame before the icon of Divine Mercy is not lit for us.

It is lit in prayer for you, cherished friends in Italy, Germany, Spain, the Americas, and around the world, as a way of showing our concern for you in your sufferings, and of raising all our sufferings up to God's Mercy.

We wish for courage, blessings and strength, for the whole human family.

Fr. Rick Frechette, CP, D.O.
Advisor, NPH Haiti

Following are two videos provided by Fr. Rick.




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