June 24, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings! I want to give you all a brief update on the situation of our Haitian Orthodox Mission. Haiti, by the mercy of God, has been spared thus far from the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. Haiti, as you can imagine, has all the makings for marked spread and cataclysmic death tolls due to overcrowding and poor access to medical care. Thus far this has not been the case as Haiti is generally not a tourist destination and closed its borders quite early during the pandemic season. Their schools have been closed on and off throughout the spring. As a result of economic difficulties around the world, Haiti suffers more acutely as they depend upon us for much of their schooling and church needs. Travel to the country has become quite difficult as there is an enforced fourteen-day quarantine required for all visitors and then a quarantine on your way back to the United States, specifically if you are going to New York.
I hope to be able to visit our Haitian brothers and sisters in the latter half of this year or early 2021 depending upon the situation both in the United States and in Haiti. Thankfully by the diligence of their priests and dedicated church-folk, the churches are functioning and the schools are forging ahead - merging the beauty of the Orthodox faith with quality education.
Please remember us in your generosity this summer and fall.
Lazarus Gehring, M.D.
Liaison, Haitian Orthodox Mission
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church is a beautiful mission parish near downtown Tucson, a city in southern Arizona. It was started in 1997 by Father John Bockman, who was a missionary Priest formerly serving missions in Tennessee and Massachusetts since 1990. Father John served the faithful in Tucson and the surrounding area in his home Chapel until his repose in November of 2000. His wife, Presbytera Valerie, continued to make her home Chapel available for the mission, with clergy from Saint Nectarios Orthodox Church in Seattle and His Eminence, Metropolitan Moses of Toronto (then of Portland), visiting to provide the Divine Services.Read more...