Raeni Blackendy reads during the Mass of Welcome for the Haitian Farmworkers celebrated on Columbia Fruit Farm in Hammonton on Friday evening, June 15. Seated at right is Msgr. Roger E. McGrath, chief celebrant; middle photo, a worshipper and right photo, the choir.
Photos by Alan M. Dumoff, ccdphotolibrary.smugmug.com
Benitoh Delice, Sonja Maubrun and Berteau Nazaire were traveling on a Florida interstate with a dozen other Haitian migrant farm workers on Sunday morning, June 3, when a tire blew out, causing their van to flip over several times. The three, who died at the scene, and the others were on their way to New Jersey for work during the blueberry harvest.
This year’s Mass of Welcome for the Haitian Farmworkers was offered for them. It was celebrated on Columbia Fruit Farm in Hammonton on Friday evening, June 15. Msgr. Roger E. McGrath, vicar general for the Diocese of Camden, celebrated the Mass in French. The homilist, Father Edward Jeudy, a Haitian priest who serves in the Dominican Republic, spoke in Haitian Creole.
The Mass was hosted by the diocese’s Black Catholic Ministry Commission and St. Monica Parish, Atlantic City. A choir of immigrant farm workers led the congregation in song.More than 700 Haitian immigrants come to Hammonton during the summer months every year for the blueberry harvest.
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