Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The Funeral of Father Gerard Jean-Juste
By Wadner Pierre-www.haitianalysis.com
People were there from the USA, Canada, and all over the Caribbean - people of different religions and cultures. Veye Yo, his organization, organized a viewing as did his family at Notre Dame D'Haiti church in Miami,
It was crowded for the two days as approximately 3000 people gathered. Catholic bishops from Haiti and United States were in attendance. People tearfully marched for hours in Little Haiti in front of Veve Yo headquarters where a stage was set to receive his body for the last time.
Lavarice Gaudin, a close ally in his struggles, cried out during the funeral service that "Father Gerry" was poisoned.
During a sermon that honoured Father Gerard Jean-Juste, Father Reginald Jean-Mary condemned the hypocrisy within the Haitian community in the US. He wondered who could fill the priest's shoes - continue his humanitarian work in Saint Claire's parich in Haiti or his political activism on behalf of the most vulnerable. Father Reginald Jean-Mary said "they killed Father Gerry for power, because he represented a threat to them as someone who could lead Haiti."
In attendance during the sermon were Ira Kurzban and Dr. Paul Famer, both close friends and allies of Father Jean-Juste. Some Haitian officials were in attendance but not in any official capacity.
Father Adonai Jean-Juste, the late priest's cousin, said "Father Gerry did not die for his family, but for the people of Haiti and the Haitian immigrants in the USA. He did not live for himself, but according to the gospel: feed people who are angry and preach the good news to the poor. He was a father to all in his life."
I, who consider him my adoptive father, will remember most of al his belief that "A new Haiti is possible." He forgave those who mistreated him and prayed for their repentance. I will endeavor to follow his path and respect all Haitians whether they be rich or poor.