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26316: Nlbo: Spiritan Father Max Dominique is gone (fwd)
A great intellectual religious man who lived and practiced the Gospel of
Jesus returned to the Creator.
Rev. Max Dominique, a teacher, a mentor, an educator, a thinker left this
earthly life on September 17 and had a Catholic funeral in the chapel on the 22nd
at Petit Seminaire College St. Martial, the heart of the Spiritain Fathers in
Max Dominique belonged to an order that primarily educates boys and men.
Though the Spiritains tend to educate boys only, at the university , the
grassroots, and at community levels Max Do taught and reached women as an educator
and a literary critique.
The phenomenon of educating boys only needs to be revisited. It is important
that women, especially Haitian women are provided adequate education as well.
In the United States now, women have outnumbered men in college attendance.
This 21rst century world can't have a society that does not educate girls. The
girls become women. The women are the mothers who basically raise the men.
Society needs to educate girls. What about the Haitian women like most in the
Third Wolrd who donât get to go the university, those who are not fortunate to go
to conferences, lectures, seminars, to meet people like Max Do, late
Spiritain as Father Antoine Adrien or living one such as Fathers William Smarth, Jean
Yves Urfie? The diasporic churches donât have the kinds of priests any more
with the caliber of those who started the Haitian apostolate in Brooklyn New
York in the early l970â s during their exile years. Father Guy Sansaricq is
still in Brooklyn, teaching and gathering Haitian Catholics around the country
through newsletters, annual conferences and recently bi annual
mini-conventions. Like in the secular community, there is a lack of long term vision in the
Haitian churches which are an influential segment in the Haitian community.
Who will carry the torch when Father Sansaricq is gone? In Boston nobody carried
it when Father Jeannot passed away four years ago.
If Haitian women, especially church goers are not being educated and exposed
to the works of religious scholars, ministerial training, or theological
knowledge, how are they compete with the rest of the world or their western
counterparts in the church? In the case of the Catholic church in the United
States, based on Georgetown University CARA there are more women doing theology
than men in the priesthood- 20 to 30,000 mostly white women in some sort of
theological studies and or ministerial training and a little over 3,000 men in the
seminary for priesthood in the United States (2001- 2004 data). Active Haitian
female church goers will not be able to compete âintellectuallyâ with
western Catholic women- something that I doubt the Haitian priests and Haitian
Catholic pastoral agents are noticing.
On another note, I would like to say to the alumni of St. Martial to help
restore that beautiful architecture. Here in the US, alumni give millions to
their alma matters and contribute financially to build buildings, libraries,
research centers that are named after them. Many of us who had made it through
the education we have received in Haiti give little or don't give anything back.
Please alumni,I would like to see a more physically restored St. Martial, St.
Louis de Gonzague, les Soeurs Salesiennes, Les filles de la Sagesse, The
UniversitÃ d'Etat d'Haiti - all those schools that are the nucleus of the Haitian
educational elite and have provided âthe brainsâ that are now serving other
countries. The physical structures need to be maintained and the works that
go in those premises need to continue for the next generations.
I will greatly miss Max Do as I will always remember the impact that Father
Adrien had on my life since I met him the first and only time as a teenager
when he came to Boston in l977. Unfortunately there is no environment nowadays
so young people can be exposed to priests of this caliber in the diaspora.
Besides Father Micial Nerestant who had published 8 to 10 books in the past 10
years , I don't yet know any new generation of Haitian priests with those
spiritains' caliber. Does any one know one?
I hope that todayâs Haitian priests will grow to be role models, tutors,
and mentors to this generation of youth.