A Mission Trip to Haiti Leads President Dr. Kardish To Support A Deacon in Need
In December 2019, the President of Salesianum School, Dr. Tom Kardish, went on a mission trip with students of Villa Joseph Marie, the high school he headed to before coming to Broom Street. The group regularly traveled to Bois de Laurence, staying at St. Ann’s parish in the northeastern mountains of Mombin-Crochu, Haiti. While there, they met Bishop Alphonse Quesnel of Fort Liberté, who shared that Deacon Alynx Bernadin needed a prosthetic limb before being ordained as a priest. Alynx had recently lost his left arm in an auto accident. Dr. Kardish learned from the Bishop that two arms are required to become a priest and felt he could do something to help him.
“The most important thing Dr. Kardish learned in his 40+ mission trips to Haiti over the years is that the best thing to do is “simply help the person in front of you.” In 1997, Dr. Kardish began medical mission trips to two parishes in Haiti staffed by the Missionhurst priests and continued them twice a year until the Covid pandemic.
Upon his return to the United States, Dr. Kardish met with Dave Lawall, the owner of Lawall Prosthetics and Orthotics and a parent of Bridie Lawall, a student at Villa Joseph Marie. Dr Lawall was willing to help and generously donated a prosthetic arm. In early 2020, Alynx came to the United States to meet with doctors to discuss the possibility of receiving a prosthetic arm. Then, the prosthesis was custom-built. Alynx spent several weeks learning how to use his new arm, and the whole effort was a huge success!
In September 2023, Alynx returned to the Wilmington area for repairs and adjustments to his prosthesis and, of course, a visit to Salesianum School. He was able to reconnect with President Kardish, tour the campus, and speak to students in numerous French classes. In addition, he enjoyed a Phillies baseball game courtesy of Derek Schuster, husband of Mathematics Department Chair Karen Schuster. He returned to Haiti with a rebuilt arm and several spare parts.
We are immensely proud of Alynx and his determination and decision to join the priesthood. While at Salesianum, Alynx was provided hospitality in the Oblate faculty house and joined our Oblate priests in prayer at daily Mass and evening meals at the residence. With great pride, we share the news of the generous vestment donation from the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales, which the five deacons wore at the ordination ceremony as they became the newest priests in Haiti! Along with four others, on October 28, 2023, Alynx Bernadin was officially ordained a priest by Bishop Alfonse Quesnel in Fort Liberty, Haiti. We wish him success in his future endeavors and hope for another visit soon!