Father Elibien Joseph is the only SSS religious, originally from Haiti. In January 2014, he entered the vocational community in Bogota, Colombia. He is part of the province of Saint John XXIII, and was ordained a priest on April 24, 2021 in Bogota.
After spending two years and four months without seeing my close siblings (January 2019-May 2021), on 5 May I arrived in Haiti to enjoy being with my biological family and friends, to prepare for my first Mass in my country of origin as a religious-priest and to spend some time on vacation. I had about ten (10) days to organize everything concerning this great event, so looked-forward both by me and by my loved ones.
On 16 May 2021, in the Parish of Our Lady of Altagracia- Carrefour, Source Corrossol- Haiti, the first Mass was celebrated by Fr. Elibien Joseph, sss. About two hundred people took part in this religious event with me among them, my biological family, relatives, priests, close friends, men and women religious, and parishioners of the Parish. Later we shared lunch with all the participants, making this legacy of our SSS spirituality a reality, that is, the third table that unites us to feed our existence and grow in fraternity around the table.
A few days later I travelled to my hometown of San Lorenzo (Jacmel-Haiti) to be with some people whom I had not seen for about 5 years. There I was arranging a second Eucharistic celebration that took place on Sunday, 30 May, in the chapel where I was baptized. I returned to my wellspring of grace, as Father Eymard would say, to celebrate with the peasants of this region. I took time to visit the sick in my native region and even celebrate the funeral of a deceased person there.
Regarding these two great events mentioned, people expressed in gestures and words the joy of sharing these moments of grace, brotherhood and being together with me. Let’s give thanks to the Lord!
The socio-political situation in Haiti is chaotic, with great challenges and consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable. The State does not assume its responsibility and the Church is a bit passive in the face of so many crises that affect the country. But amid all this, Haiti remains steadfast in its cultural and religious tradition; It is a people full of faith and devotion and expresses it in concrete actions, in the midst of so many difficult circumstances, which could discourage us in faith. The situation of the Covid-19 Pandemic also affects the Haitian sociocultural reality, but not as in other countries.
Two young people expressed their interest in getting to know the Congregation; they are in contact with me and Fr Alexander Espitia, the vocation promoter of our province. May God send us some Haitian compatriots to share the Eucharistic life with me in the Province of John XXIII and in the Congregation.
Father Elibien Joseph, sss