On January 1, 2019, Haiti celebrated the 215th anniversary of independence. On this occasion, the traditional “Te Deum” was celebrated in the Cathedral of Gonaïves, the capital of the Artibonite department, in the north of the country. The Bishop of Gonaïves, Msgr. Yves-Marie Péan expressed the desire for peace, health, and prosperity of the population, and “implored God’s blessing on the nation”.
In remarks reported January 3, 2019, by Fides News Agency, the Bishop underlined the concurrence of the first day of the new year with the World Day of Peace. He also recalled that January 1 is the day of the exchange of good wishes between family and friends, and a period of meeting for the members of the government.
“To protect and defend the family means to protect and defend oneself,” said the Bishop, who added: “there is no hope without the family”.
Facing the socio-political and economic situation of the country, the Bishop of Gonaïves denounced the “failure of political institutions, the disastrous failure of the economy, widespread corruption, arrogant impunity, lack of respect for the sacredness of life”. The same evils were reported by the Episcopal Conference before Christmas.
Bishop Yves-Marie Péan said that “it is not all over” for the country, and called to work for “the rescue of our dear country”. He also insisted on the realization of an “inclusive dialogue” between the population, and between the population and authorities.
The Te Deum was celebrated in the presence of the Head of State, Jovenel Moïse, First Lady Martine Moïse, Prime Minister Jean Henry Céant, representatives of the legislative and judicial powers, members of the government and the Mayor of Gonaïves, Neil Latortue.