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Stay With Haiti, Fast For Haiti

February 16, 2012

I think it’s fair to assume we all remember what happened in Haiti in 2010. After the devastating earthquake there was a remarkable outpouring of love, concern, and aid. Today, over two years later, the country is still struggling to repair itself. Many of us might think the work in Haiti is over but, in reality, the work has just begun.

photo courtesy of MaDonna Thelen

When I look at the struggles of the Haitian people, I feel ashamed that I don’t appreciate how much I have. Food is available to me whenever I want to eat but many people in Haiti do not know where their next meal will come from. I have so many clothes I cannot possibly wear them all but there are people who do not have even basic necessities. I sleep every night in a warm, safe place but there are people a thousand miles away who call a make-shift shack their home.

Today, I would like to challenge you to fast with me for three days to show our solidarity, or unity, with the Haitian people. Fasting is a way to let go of something you take for granted and focus your attention on others. From Monday, February 27th through Wednesday, February 29th, join with the SLAM ministry team and the Dominican community to support the people of Haiti.

While the word “fasting” has the connotation of giving up food, not everyone can physically endure a three-day fast from food. I invite you to examine your daily routine and look at the things you are the most attached to. It is your cell phone? Coffee? Facebook? Sweets? Try giving up something that is important to you, remembering that it will be different for everybody.

Photo courtesy of MaDonna Thelen

To be honest, I have never fasted. I tried giving up sweets for Advent but that lasted a pitiful two weeks. I attribute this failure to the fact that I did not really think about what I was doing. I merely thought to myself one day “I think I’ll give up sweets” and I stopped eating dessert. That’s it. I did not do it with any meaningful purpose or contemplation, just a casual decision made in a moment. Fasting for solidarity involves more than just giving something up, it involves contemplation and meditation.

There are many ways to focus you attention on Haiti during your fast. A silent vigil for Haiti will be held in the Interfaith Prayer Room (between the Noonan Reading Room and Rosary Chapel) on Monday, February 27th at 12:30pm. Poetry is another great way to contemplate. Choose a quiet place, turn off your cell phone, and read a poem or two. A finger labyrinth is a more hands-on way of contemplating. Finger labyrinths can be found in the Interfaith Prayer Room or outside the Ministry Center in Lewis 216. Yoga is another good option, available at DU on Thursdays from 6-7pm in MAC 200.

You will probably begin to notice purple “Fast for Haiti” wristbands around campus in the next few weeks. In order to focus on your fast and the people of Haiti, the SLAM ministry team will be selling these wristbands for $5. All proceeds will be brought directly to Haiti’s St. Joseph’s Home for Boys and Wings of Hope (a home for disabled children) during Dominican’s spring break service trip in March. Wristbands will be available periodically in the Lewis Alcove and Dining Hall. Or, you are always welcome to stop by the Ministry Center in Lewis 216 to pick one up!

On Wednesday, February 29th from 6-7:45pm we invite you to join us in the Priory Campus East Dining Hall for an “Interfaith Break-fast” where we break our fast with some Haitian food and interfaith dialogue.

Fasting is a way to empty our minds and bodies of something physical and fill our spirit with a deep connection to the Haitian people. It gives us a larger perspective and helps us focus on something meaningful.

Will you join me?

~Sara Scheler, Class of 2015

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Megan Graves permalink
    February 27, 2012 6:22 am

    Beautiful!!! 😀


  1. Open a Dialogue « Dominique Finley

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