Haiti Diary: Baptism Offers Respite Amid Destruction

In late September, photojournalist David Snyder traveled to Haiti for CRS. His mission was to document what he found in the flood-ravaged country. The following is the sixth post in this series.

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Children await a baptism ceremony that had been scheduled for Sept. 8 — the day Hurricane Ike hit Haiti.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 – Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Finished up in Gonaives today and left around noon to head back down to Port-au-Prince. Yesterday the sisters from the Missionaries of Charity called to ask if I could come by the cathedral this morning to take some photos. They had 120 kids being baptized there. The cathedral is in an area of the city that was particularly hard hit. Crushed cars and broken concrete still litter the streets around it, but the church itself was cleared of mud – a refreshing change from the rest of the city. I took some photos of the kids, all dressed in white for their baptism. This group was supposed to be baptized on September 8 — the day Hurricane Ike struck Gonaives. And while it wasn’t an emergency project or distribution, it was a nice way to end my time in Gonaives. The city is in tremendous need. It will take years to fully recover. But for two hours this morning at least, 120 kids dressed in clean clothes and gathered in a clean space, and that is as good as you can ask for in Gonaives today.

Earlier entries: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

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One Response to “Haiti Diary: Baptism Offers Respite Amid Destruction”

  1. Brenda Faust Says:

    Hello, What a beautiful image and story about Haiti. I’m studying the traditions of Haiti and was wondering why these children are getting baptized when they are older and not when they are infants.
    Thank you,
    Brenda Faust
    Miami, FL

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