Haitians In the US Turn to Religion for Answers

January 24, 2010

Author: Dana Chivvis

Source: AOL News


Since last week's earthquake, the Rev. Donelson Thevenin, a priest at the Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, where many of New York's Haitians live, has been helping his congregation deal with the tragedy. He has prayed with them, listened to their stories and tried to answer their questions. 

One woman came to him in tears, asking him to help a cousin who had lost his leg. Another woman told him she lost 36 family members to the earthquake. 

"And what do you say to that?" Thevenin asked. "At times there is no way to help a person cope. Even the death of one loved one, one person traumatizes you, but to imagine five, 10, 36 all at once."

After last week's disaster, many of New York's Haitians are turning to religion for answers. But spiritual leaders have few to offer in the aftermath of a tragedy so overwhelming and incomprehensible. They can do little more than pray, hold memorial services and reaffirm the resilience of the Haitian people and their faith.