Thursday, December 01, 2005

Father Gerard Jean-Juste

We wound our way through the hills of Port-au-Prince up the road that Father Jean-Juste calls Golgotha to the Annexe Pententiare Nationale, where he has been incarcerated the last several months. The Haitian National Police and U.N. soldiers from Senegal patrol the prison. Father's health condition continues to be serious and, in fact, has worsened since September, according to Dr. John Carroll who examined Father then and also today (12-01-05). Father is need of a complete medical work up and a surgical intervention.

As to his legal and ecclesiastical situations, he is waiting to hear from authorities on both. A judge in Haiti has his dossier and is reviewing the information. This "review" has been going on for months now. As there is no evidence that Father has committed a crime of any kind, we can only believe that he is being kept in jail until after the elections, which keep being postponed. They are currently scheduled for January 8.

Though Father is eager to leave jail, he hopes to hear from Rome first about his status as a priest. He was recently told by the bishops of Haiti that he could no longer officially act as a priest. "It would be a great hardship on me if I couldn't say Mass after I am released from prison," Father said. He has little support from Catholic priests and bishops in Haiti or abroad. "Many of the Haitian priests who would be supporters of mine are dead," he said. Bishop Gumbleton from Detroit has visited Father and advocates for Father Jean-Juste's release.

Father's spirits continue to be strong; no one can keep him from God. The feeding program at his parish, St. Clare's is going full force, four days a week, feeding 750 people each time possibly the only meal they will eat that day. If you would like to donate to this absolutely vital cause, contact Margaret Trost at or visit the What If Foundation website at

Father appreciates the support he receives from people in Haiti and all over the world.

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