Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste, prominent leader for Haitian immigrants, advocate for the poor and a rumored candidate for the Haitian presidency, passed away Wednesday, May 27, in his adopted hometown of Miami.
For over three decades, Jean-Juste put his liberation theology beliefs into action, working for various causes both in the United States and his home country of Haiti.
Jean-Juste had been suffering from cancer over the last few years, although the 62 year old died from unrelated respiratory complications, friends said.
Speaking in a July 2008 interview, Jean-Juste talked about being born in Kavayon, Haiti, and having to attend a Canadian seminary in the late 1960s because the Duvalier regime had shut down seminaries in Haiti. He was ordained in New York City in 1971 but, by the end of the 1970s, had made his way to Miami to work with the exploding Haitian immigrant population.