ROME, JAN. 18, 2010 (Zenit.org).- According to 2004 statistics, the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince had some 2.5 million Catholics, which is 74% of the total population. Haiti’s capital was served by 277 priests, 387 men religious and 1,200 women religious.
Obviously among those who suffered loss of life and property in Tuesday’s earthquake are the various groups of religious who work on the island.
Fides, the news agency of the Pontifical Mission Societies, has transmitted reports it has received from representatives of the various missionary groups.
The Christian Brothers (with 15 working in Haiti) reported no deaths or injuries. There was slight damage to its novitiate, which has been converted into a shelter for nuns who were left homeless.
The Montfort Missionaries lost 9 seminarians and one priest. Three sisters from that spiritual family, of the Congregation of Daughters of Wisdom, also passed away. Three others are still trapped under the rubble.
The Congregation of the Holy Ghost lost one seminarian.
None of the 41 Redemptorist fathers or brothers was killed; only one was wounded. However damage to their properties are already estimated at $2 million.
The seven Dominican men religious also escaped unharmed. The Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin sustained one injured sister; one of their two homes was completely destroyed. One of the children of their school was killed.
The 49 Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary all survived.
The Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Haiti have about 130 members. One seminarian was killed along with the nine Montforians.
The five Camillian seminarians escaped unharmed. That order also reported by Friday: “Our hospital is in fairly good condition and is at work full time. Over 500 earthquake victims have been treated and discharged and at present there are 100 that occupy every possible space. There are only three doctors and four nurses, and of course all the members of the community.
“Unfortunately, the earth continues to shake, but there’s no time to stop. We continue to provide assistance.
“Injured and dying are being treated without the use of anesthetics because, unfortunately, the supply has run out.”
News of the Salesians was still limited in the Fides reports, but there is information about the collapse of a school that buried 200 students and the religious working there. The bodies of two Salesian seminarians have been found.
Jesuits reported little damage and no lives lost; just one priest was injured.
The Franciscans also reported that their 16 brothers are alive. However, an Argentinean priest of the order, who worked as a missionary in Haiti for the past two years, is among those who disappeared in the earthquake, his brother reported on a local television station.