More scenes from a grieving parish
On Sunday the New York Times continued its moving series by reporter Anne Barnard, “A Parish Tested,” which looks at how the earthquake in Haiti has affected a parish in Queens with a large Haitian population. I posted about a previous installment, which focused on SS. Joachim and Anne School, but I’d missed this latest report until today. It’s a glimpse of how the parish’s two priests — one from the Bronx and in his 60s; the other an immigrant from Haiti in his 30s — are ministering to the bereaved.
When one parishioner, Olivia Benoit, took in her pregnant niece and two grandnephews after they fled Haiti, Father Delva persuaded the parish school to take the boys though they speak no English. When a woman broke down while reading a New Testament lesson, Ms. Benoit, 57, recalled, “Father Delva jumped from the altar to stand with her.”
Meanwhile, she said, Father Robinson’s memorial service for victims — in English, Spanish, French and Creole — was as moving as his effort to speak Creole. When someone struggles to express matters of faith in French or English, she said, the priest urges, “Try in Creole and see if I make it.”