On September 6, Berkeley students enjoyed lunch and conversation with alumnus Sam Owen ’12 and Jean Berthold Phanord, priest-in-charge of Bon Samaritan Episcopal Church in Bondeau, Haiti (seen above (center) with (L-R) middler Tommy Watson, Assoc. Dean Yejide Pietersen, senior Paul Keene, and Dean McGowan).
While he was a student at Berkeley, Owen worked with the community at Bon Samaritan, an experience that changed his life, and ever since he has served as priest-in-charge of the Haitian community at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in the Bronx. Owen and Phanord explored how the Episcopal Church in Haiti is a thriving part of Province 2 of The Episcopal Church, and how Berkeley students can join in the ministries at Bon Samaritan and be in fellowship with the Episcopal Church in Haiti.
Although Haiti continues to suffer from political unrest, food insecurity, and natural disasters, the Episcopal Church in Haiti continues to grow steadily. Father Phanord expressed that this is due to seeing how God is within all people and meeting people where they are - whether it’s feeding them a meal or providing education. The education offered at Bon Samaritan, which features recently constructed classrooms, is a particularly vibrant part of their ministry for local Haitians, which prepares them to address systemic issues, such as hunger and poverty.
We pray for our siblings in Christ as they navigate the many challenges that face their country. Students or Berkeley graduates who want to learn more about the Episcopal ministry in Bondeau can contact Sam Owen at firstname.lastname@example.org.