We are saddened by the recent death of Joseph Jean Paul, known to friends far and wide as “Jojo.” He died on Saturday, May 14, 2016 after a brief and sudden illness.
Jojo first arrived at Saint Vincent’s Centre for Handicapped Children when he was eight years old. Sister Joan Margaret, the founder of Saint Vincent’s, took him in and helped him become a pillar of the Saint Vincent community. An extremely talented artist and outgoing presence on campus, Jojo exemplified the ministry and vision of Saint Vincent’s. Many who visited the campus encountered Jojo’s smiling face and welcoming presence, and he was well known as a man full of vitality and generosity.
A celebration of his life took place at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince on May 28. Dr. Susan Nelson attended the service and states that the service was standing-room only. Prayers and readings were shared by current and former members of the Saint Vincent’s community, including Père Sadoni Leon and Père Frantz “Fanfan” Cole. A special musical offering was made by members of the SVC bell choir. Dr. Pean, Government Minister for the Handicapped, spoke about the immortal personage of JoJo.
Dr. Nelson writes, “It was a privilege to be part of the mourning time with St Vincent’s children and staff. Many of the older staff have known Jojo for 30-40 years, and the children have known him all their lives…Please pray for the community at the school; they have lost their strongest advocate and their guardian. Jojo watched everyone who came into the school and knew who was supposed to be there and who wasn’t. Who will do this job now?”
A memorial fund has been set up in his honor by the Children’s Medical Mission of Haiti. This fund will be used for student expenses, scholarships and other operating costs of the Centre. You may make your tax-deductible contribution by visiting CMMH.org and clicking on the “Donate” link. We appreciate your support, and we ask that you pray along with us for Jojo, his family, friends, and the entire Saint Vincent community.