Chapels Of The Pendus Area
St. Joseph Church is located in Pendus, Haiti, which is
located in the north central mountains of Haiti. Pendus is located
approximately 120 miles from Port-au-Prince and about 10 miles northwest from
Gros Morne. There are six chapels that are connected with St. Joseph
Church in the surrounding mountain areas. There are not enough priests for
each of these areas to have a full time church. People in these villages
will come to Pendus for Mass whenever a priest is in Pendus -- and whenever the
terrain and weather permit the travel to and from Pendus. The entire area
of "greater Pendus" is less than a typical county in Indiana, but given the
mountains and rivers and lack of good roads, the travel can be nearly impossible
If you are at Pendus (which is the last place a vehicle can travel up that
mountainside), you must hike for two hours toward the northeast to reach Mayombe.
Another two-hour hike from Pendus toward the northwest will get you to Massacre.
Berard, Kayimit, and Savanne Carre are all accessible from Pendus by vehicle.
Berard is the closest as it it located about half way from the turn off of the
Gros Morne to Port-de-Paix road -- an area called Tou Bwa Dom -- and Pendus.
It is just south of the Pendus River and just up the steep incline as you head
south. This incline is the only stretch (about 75 yards total) of this
entire road that is paved. It is paved because it would be nearly impassible in
good weather, let alone when it is wet and muddy.
Once you reach Tou Bwa Dom, you turn right -- or northwest toward Port-de-Paix
-- to get to the remaining three chapels -- Kayimit, Savanne Carre and
Montbayard. The first one you reach is Kayimit as it is located only a few
minutes from the Tou Bwa Dom turnoff. Another four miles or so past Kayimit you
will arrive at Savanne Carre. Just before reaching Savanne Carre, the road
nears Twa Rivierie (Three Rivers). You must cross the river either by
vehicle -- if the water level is not too high -- or on foot. It is another
3-hour hike on foot to reach Montbayard. The road on the far side of river
is presently impassible by vehicle and is in major need of repair.
To see a map of Pendus and its surround area and chapels,
Each of the chapels has a
sacristan to help facilitate worship in that area. Since there are not
priests enough to visit regularly at each of these places, the sacristan is
responsible to help organize services on Sundays and holy days, to lead
scripture reading and conduct "homilies" or reflections when priests are not
present, and to help with funerals and other activities. He cannot
celebrate Mass or hear confessions or do weddings like a priest, but he is
integral to the community's faith life.