News & Events


OSP IHM Border Community Update

Of the many things that the OSP-IHM Border Community imagined doing in McAllen, Texas, studying Haitian Creole was not one of them. Yet, because a large percentage of asylum seekers are Haitian, that is exactly what we are doing!

It seems right, and even providential, that in following Theresa Maxis’s urging to “go where the need is” that we find ourselves face to face with our Haitian brothers and sisters. Theresa, born Almaide Maxis Duchemin, was the daughter of a Haitian refugee, and her maternal great-grandfather was a black slave in Haiti. As a child, Almaide attended a school for Haitian refugee children.

Could this encounter with the Haitian people and their culture be Theresa’s way of inviting us to look more closely at the roots and the legacy of our OSP and IHM congregations? Perhaps the culture that Theresa had to deny to “pass for white” is exactly what God is asking us to uncover and integrate into our lives. Learning Haitian Creole is no easy task when you are an adult. Embracing the Haitian culture and the full personhood of Theresa Maxis may be even more challenging!

We welcome the insights of our sisters and associates who have served the Haitian population and may know the culture and the language well. We also ask you to pray for both our Haitian brothers and sisters who have valiantly made the journey to the US-Mexico border and us who have the privilege of accompanying them at this time.

Elvia and Haitian child (002)
Elvia Mata Ortega, IHM and a Haitian child
in Reynosa, Mexico

Rose Terry and Haitian asylum seekers
Rose Patrice Kuhn, IHM and Terry Saetta,
RSM join with Haitian immigrants as they
sing in creole How Great Thou Art