Haiti

At the Service of God and Man: Venerable Pierre Toussaint

A French-speaking, enslaved man of African descent, he rubbed shoulders with the white New York elite as a ladies’ hairdresser. Possessed of the means to purchase his own liberty, he instead chose to provide for those around him—including the woman who owned him—and sought the liberty of other slaves. Once rudely refused entrance to a … Read more

And Now for Some Good News from Haiti…

It belabors the obvious to say that Haiti is a mess. I was there for the one-year anniversary of the January 12, 2010, earthquake and can verify the reports of how little has been done to put the shattered capital, Port-au-Prince, back together again. The overall look of the downtown area is something akin to … Read more

‘This is Good Friday’

A big hat tip to the Deacon’s Bench for pointing out this video of Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s recent video to Haiti and its ravaged cathedral. As co-chair of the board of directors for Catholic Relief Services, Dolan went to Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the quake and attended the funeral of Haiti’s own Archbishop … Read more

Flood waters and trickling aid in Pakistan

Pakistan is suffering from its worst flooding in decades, leaving 1,500 dead and displacing  many millions more. The UN says that the number of people suffering from the ongoing rains could top the the 2004 tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, and the earthquake in Haiti combined: They estimate that 13 million Pakistanis have been displaced … Read more

Rousing Spirits: Inside Haitian Voodoo

The long walkway was lined with painted crypts. Electric blue. Aqua marine. Black. White. Some were topped with crosses. Others had large and rusting padlocks hanging from their hatches. And still others were smashed open by grave robbers — the ragged remains of their occupants left atop the shattered ruins. My escort, Martin, and I … Read more

Friday Free-for-All

Good morning! Today’s links are all odds and ends that wouldn’t fit anywhere else this week — feel free to drop your own news items in the comments:  Why you’ve never really heard The Moonlight Sonata. Don’t miss the clips. The story of the British POW who snuck into Auschwitz: “I knew in my gut … Read more

Quantifying the Devastation

The human costs for such tragic events as the recent quakes in Haiti and Chile are incalculable. There is so much suffering, it is difficult for many of us to comprehend. (I was taken aback a few days ago to recognize my relief at early stories placing the Chilean death toll in the 700’s. Tragically, that number will surely … Read more

Canadian glory, Roger Ebert, and a voodoo priest.

First: Way to go, Canada! Much to the shame of my Canadian family, I’m a hockey dunce. But I watched my first game in 20 years yesterday — and wow, I picked a good one! Team U.S.A. looked broken-hearted after their loss, but they should hold their heads up. It was a close game. Silver … Read more

Haiti’s Children

A very different set of photos from the ones I posted this morning: The images accompanying this New York Times article about the children of Haiti will break your heart. From the story: Not long after 14-year-old Daphne Joseph escaped her collapsed house on the day of the earthquake, she boarded a crowded jitney with … Read more

Richard Dawkins defends Pat Robertson… well, sort of

Most of the Christians I know chose to ignore Pat Robertson’s recent comments about Haiti’s ‘pact with the devil’ causing the earthquake. But who would have thought Robertson’s biggest defender would be British atheist Richard Dawkins? In fact, Roberston’s comments gave Dawkins yet another reason to share his contempt for Christians… this time, in the … Read more

Too Big to Fail

On a recent overseas trip, I read most of Andrew Sorkin’s Too Big to Fail. Despite its length, the book is a page-turner and is worth reading to understand the background of the financial crisis. The more I read, the more it became clear to me that the crisis was not just about bad banking and … Read more

Living a modern-day Psalm

This post over at the The Anchoress today is a must read. A missionary friend, writing from a city 30 miles from Port-au-Prince, paints a grim picture. They have received no aid, no help. As the Anchoress notes, reading the personal account is like reading a modern-day psalm.  Also interesting is the info there on … Read more

Faith and the Earthquake

The monster earthquake in Haiti this week wrought unprecedented physical devastation and human misery. The disaster and its aftermath have created a world of pain felt far beyond Haiti — and it may be years before this pain can be fully assuaged. We cannot but empathize with the victims, among whom are neighbors and coworkers … Read more

Canceling Haiti’s debt

The Times Online ran a great piece last May on Haiti, highlighting the history of the impoverished nation. Many people don’t know the background story: The appalling state of the country is a direct result of having offended a quite different celestial authority — the French. France gained the western third of the island of … Read more

The Rise and Fall of New York City (Rents)

The full extent of the damage from the earthquake in Haiti yesterday is still unknown — the death toll has been estimated in the thousands already. Tragically, among those confirmed dead is the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Joseph Serge Miot, along with perhaps hundreds of priests and seminarians throughout the region: “Port-au-Prince is totally devastated. . … Read more

Archbishop of Port-au-Prince among dead in earthquake

The full extent of the damage from the earthquake in Haiti yesterday is still unknown — the death toll has been estimated in the thousands already. Tragically, among those confirmed dead is the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Joseph Serge Miot, along with perhaps hundreds of priests and seminarians throughout the region: “Port-au-Prince is totally devastated. . … Read more

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