I Just received this email from Beverly Bell, author of the NCR series, "Women: Birthing justice, birthing hope," which you have been seeing in the paper and on the web these past weeks.
You might recall that one of the women's profiles we published in December featured Hatian activist, Helia Lejeunesse, who has dedicated her life to fighting modern slavery.
Here is what Bell wrote me:
Greetings, Tom. I just learned that Helia Lajeunesse is alive, though the conditions on which she and other members of her anti-slavery group are living are very precarious. I have a note from her colleague in Commission of Women Victim-to-Victim. I wonder if you would want to update your readers who care about her through her beautiful words? I'm taking the liberty of sending it on, here:
We have received news that Helia Lajeunesse, whose testimony about fighting slavery in Haiti National Catholic Reporter ran last month (Beverly Bell, "A former slave fights slavery," survived the earthquake. Three hundred members of her grasroots organization are known to be dead, and many more are missing. Hundreds of their children are dead, as well. Here is a letter that a member of her group Commission of Women Victim-to-Victim sent to me:
Thanks, Tom. I've learned that many nuns have perished; trying to get details.
Of course, many of people from every sector have perished, but I know you have a heart for those wonderful nuns.