Origins. Archbishop Paolo Romeo, Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, and Bishop Francois Gayot, President of the Haitian Episcopal Conference (CEH) visited USCC in May 1985 requesting greater US church attention to Haiti and proposing a USCC visit.
Meeting I. In early March 1986, Archbp.Edward McCarthy (SDWP), Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua (MRS) and Bishop Daniel Reilly (CRS) and staff visited Haiti. The meeting had been scheduled for early February but was postponed a month due to February ouster of Jean-Claude Duvalier. All seven Haitian bishops participated.
Topics: 1) US church aid; 2) pastoral care of Haitians in US; 3) relations with CRS; 4) USAID food/family planning programs. At Nuncio(s urging, agreement to return within the year, followed by possibly annual meetings thereafter.
Meeting II. The same US delegation returned to Haiti in December 1986. With the newly ordained Bishops Verrier, Lafontant, and Kebreau, all ten Haitian bishops participated.
Topics: 1) report on aid received; 2) Misyon Alfa; 3) Radio Soleil; 4) CRS food program; 5) USAID programs; 6) Haitians in US.
Meeting III. Originally scheduled for December 1987 but postponed due to the chaos after the failed November 1987 elections, Archbishop Gayot, Bishops Emmanuel Constant, Joseph Lafontant, and Fr. Serge Miot came to USCC in February 1988. The USCC delegation consisted of Conference President Archbishop John May, Archbishop McCarthy, Bishop Daniel Reilly and Bishop John Ricard.
Topics: 1) report on funds; 2) Haitian Apostolate in US, (incl. CEH proposal to name Fr. Guy Sansaricq official delegatus to USCC); 3) discussion of main projects of Haitian church: literacy program, diocesan development offices, Catholic university; 4) request for aid to acquire new CEH headquarters; 5) US government policies; 6) current political and church situations.
Meeting IV. In November 1989, a CEH delegation that was visiting several episcopal conferences and funding agencies in Europe and in North America, met at USCC. The CEH delegation consisted of Archbishop Gayot, Bishops Emmanuel Constant, Jean Verrier, Joseph Lafontant; and Mr. Bernard, new head of Misyon Alfa. The USCC delegation was Archbishop. Theodore McCarrick, Bishop William Bullock and Bishop Rene Valero.
Topics: 1) Misyon Alfa and Radio Soleil; concern about campaign of disinformation against both institutions here and in Europe, effort to reassure funders; 2) Situation of Haitians in US; 3) US immigration policy; 4) Proposed Catholic university.
Meeting V. At the invitation of the Antilles Episcopal Conference, Archbishop McCarthy, Bishop Reilly and Bishop Valero met in Nassau of the Bahamas to discuss refugee and migration issues with Haitian bishops Archbishop Gayot and Bishop Emmanuel Constant.
Topics: 1) migration and refugee issues; 2) current economic, social, political conditions in Haiti; 3) church situation; 4) funding of church projects.
Meeting VI. At the conclusion of the March 1992 USCC Administrative Board meeting, Archbishop Gayot, Bishop Emmanuel Constant and Bishop Hubert Constant met with a large USCC delegation: Conference President Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, Archbishops William Keeler, Bernard Law, Anthony Bevilacqua, Roberto Sanchez, and John Roach and Bishops Daniel Reilly, James Griffin, Terry Steib, and Arthur Tafoya.
Topics: 1) problems arising from the economic embargo; 2) problems of misinformation; 3) the role of the church in present crisis; 4) the needs of the church in the fields of education, health care, and migration; 5) the needs of Radio Soleil, Misyon Alfa, and CEH departments.
Meeting VII. In May 1993, Archbishop Gayot and Bishops Verrier, Emmanuel Constant and Lafontant met at USCC with Archbishops.Keeler and McCarrick and Bishop.Tafoya.
Topics: 1) pastoral problems in Haiti: inter-diocesan pastoral plan, twinning of US-Haitian dioceses; 2) pastoral problems outside: boat people, pastoral care of Haitians in the US, matters of itinerant clergy.
Meeting VIII. In December 1995, Bishops Daniel Reilly, James Griffin, and Raymundo Peρa and staff met in Haiti for the first time since December 1986. All Haitian Bishops participated.
Topics: 1) reconciliation in Haitian society; 2) social-political situation of the country; 3) the Church(s social pastoral agenda; 4) development and aid; 5) refugee/migration problems; 6) the Catholic university.
Meeting IX. In September 1998, Archbishop Gayot and Bishops Poulard, LaFontant, Miot, and Verrier met at USCC with Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and Bishop Roberto Gonzαlez.
Topics: 1) parish/diocesan twinning; 2) ministry of Haitian priests in US; 3) Haitian seminarians in US dioceses; 4) Catholic radio network project; 5) the Catholic university; 6) Haitian migration to US; 7) aid from Secretariat for Latin America; 8) US refugee policy; 9) Synod follow-up.
Meeting X. At the invitation of CEH President Bishop Hubert Constant, Bishops William Murphy (CIP), Terry Steib (CRS) and Thomas Wenski (Migration) and staff met in Haiti with all twelve Haitian Bishops in November 2000.
Topics: 1) Migration issues; 2) Haitian priests missioned to the US; 3) Haitian priests studying in the US; 4) Seminarians; 5) Social communications; 6) Lay formation; 7) Twinning.