REV. GERARD JEAN-JUSTE

The life and times of the Rev. Jean-Juste

 

tdaniel@miamiherald.com

1946: Born in Cavaillon, Haiti, the fourth oldest of nine siblings. His mother Marie Yves Joute was a homemaker, his father Gesner Jean-Juste a farmer.

1965: Fleeing the dictatorship of FranÇois "Papa Doc'' Duvalier, he moved to Canada from Haiti.

1971: Became the first Haitian ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in the United States, in New York.

1978: Moved to Miami and later hired to oversee Haitian Refugee Center.

1980: Blasted the Catholic Church in Haiti for recognizing the marriage of Jean-Claude Duvalier and his bride. Called the church a ‘‘prostitute."

1980: Fired as director of the Haitian Refugee Center for his "ineptitude'' and "erratic and unproductive behavior." He and his supporters believed the ouster was political and established Haitian Refugee Center Inc.

1985: Formed his own grass-roots political watchdog group, Veye Yo.

1991: Returned to Haiti for the inauguration of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

2004: Arrested in his parish on weapons charges, accused of being a "threat to public order." He was released several weeks later in the aftermath of pressure from his supporters.

2005: Arrested again -- this time on charges that he killed journalist and poet Jacques Roche.

2005: Suspended from his parish duties at St. Claire Catholic Church on grounds that he harbored political ambitions, after supporters attempted to register him as a presidential candidate in Haiti's 2006 elections. He continued to officiate mass and feed the neighborhood children.

2006: After mounting international pressure from human rights activists, Jean-Juste was finally released from a Port-au-Prince jail after 192 days. He was diagnosed with leukemia and returned to Miami to seek treatment.

2006: Murder charges against him were dropped, but he still faced weapons possession and conspiracy charges, which were eventually dropped.

2006: Received an honorary doctorate degree from University of San Francisco in recognition of his advocacy work.

2009: Jean-Juste died on May 27, following complications from a stroke and respiratory problems; his last public appearance in Miami was at a Jan. 1 Haitian Independence Day concert.

Read more This week in Haiti stories from the Miami Herald

  • HAITI

    UN plane crashes in Haiti with 6-10 onboard

    UNITED NATIONS -- (AP) -- The United Nations says a U.N. plane monitoring the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic crashed with 6 to 10 military personnel on board.

  • REV. GERARD JEAN-JUSTE

    The life and times of the Rev. Jean-Juste

    1946: Born in Cavaillon, Haiti, the fourth oldest of nine siblings. His mother Marie Yves Joute was a homemaker, his father Gesner Jean-Juste a farmer.

  • WALL STREET JOURNAL

    Haiti starts over again

    Close your eyes and imagine you are the new prime minister of a poor Caribbean country. Yours is not a run-of-the-mill, low-income nation but one so destitute that last year the Associated Press reported that children were being fed cookies made of "dried yellow dirt" to relieve their hunger.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category