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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Haitian Prayer Service for Earthquake Victims at Port-au-Prince Cathedral - May 12, 2010



In early May I accompanied another independent journalist to Haiti as a team to do some investigative reporting on facets of Haiti, post-earthquake, that were being largely ignored by the mainstream media. I focused mainly on photography, with a few videos too, such as this one. This was taken mid-morning on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 in the little square behind the remnants of the great Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Port-au-Prince. Apparently on Wednesday mornings, and perhaps on other days as well, the faithful gather to say prayers and sing sacred chants for the victims, in Creole, of the great earthquake of Tuesday, January 12, 2010, both the living and dead.

I had been touring downtown Port-au-Prince this morning getting some shots of both the earthquake damage and life on the streets. My "handler" (similar to a guide) had taken me to the cathedral grounds and I was wandering about the area when I happened across this large prayer group, largely dressed in white, just beginning their outdoor service below an elevated statue of Jesus hanging on the Cross. I found this quite poignant and moving, and felt I should post it for the public to view.

Some info, taken from Wikipedia, on The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption (in French: Cath├ędrale Notre-Dame de L'Assomption), also called Port-au-Prince Cathedral (in French: Cath├ędrale de Port-au-Prince):
It was built between 1884 and 1914, dedicated on December 13, 1928, becoming the official cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince before the main roof and towers collapsed on January 12th. The nunciature and the archdiocesan offices were also demolished, killing Diocesan Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot instantly and Vicar General Charles Benoit later. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedra...

For a good video showcasing what the cathedral looked like in all its glory, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEN6QS...
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