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Beloved Haitian Priest and Friend of Aristide Brings Message of Unity to the U.S.

Last weekend hundreds of Californians had the honor of hearing the words of Father Gerard Jean-Juste, beloved Haitian liberation theologian and recently released political prisoner. California was his last stop on a long journey across continents through Miami and Washington DC to South Africa and back again.

As a liberation theologian Father Gerry believes that one cannot preach about the kingdom of heaven while ignoring the suffering and injustice that take place on earth. His trip to California was a part of actualizing this philosophy, a way to move his country ever closer to justice and democracy by building solidarity and understanding around the world.

On Friday night he transformed a chemistry lecture hall at Stanford University into a community meeting place, a church without denomination. Over 100 people including students of all ages, community activists and local religious leaders, gathered to hear the perspective of Father Gerry who had just returned from a visit with Jean Bertrand Aristide, elected president of Haiti now in exile in South Africa. The amazing thing about the way that Father Gerry spoke was that he was able to unite all these communities, there was room for everyone in his words.

[ previous articles about Haiti by Sasha Kramer and Zoe Moskovitz ]

Father Gerry speaks at a press conference in Berkeley (photo: Judith Scherr)
Father Gerry speaks at a press conference in Berkeley (photo: Judith Scherr)