Posts Tagged ‘Jesuit Father Bill Johnson’

Jesuit Answers the Call in Haiti

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Jesuit Father Bill Johnson was in the Dominican Republic when the earthquake struck Haiti on January 12. Fr. Johnson is the director for pastoral care at the Institute of Latin American Concern (ILAC) of Creighton University located just outside of Santiago. ILAC is a Catholic, Ignatian-inspired, collaborative health care and educational organization offering service-learning and immersion experience opportunities in dental, medical, nursing, pharmacy, law, physical therapy and occupational therapy for undergraduate and high school students, and also to faculty-led groups, medical/surgical teams and other colleges in the rural Dominican Republic.

When the call went out for help in the days after the earthquake, Johnson answered it by offering his services as a translator and as a helper to the Creighton medical team assembled to come to Haiti to provide emergency medical care to the wounded and critically injured.

Jesuit Fr. Bill Johnson (center) poses with Jim Jalovec (left) and John Ward (right) in front of Javolec's helicopter as they deliver supplies during relief efforts in Haiti.

Jesuit Fr. Bill Johnson (center) poses with Jim Jalovec (right) and John Ward (left) in front of Jalovec's helicopter as they deliver supplies during relief efforts in Haiti.

Johnson experienced another tragedy in the days that followed the earthquake when his good friend, Jim Jalovec, was killed while providing help during the Haiti relief efforts. Jalovec had phoned Johnson immediately after the earthquake in Haiti to offer the services of his helicopter in the relief efforts. Good Samaritan Hospital in Jimaní, Dominican Republic, where Johnson and Creighton University’s medical teams were working, invited Jalovec and his pilot, John Ward, to come and fly doctors and medicine into Haiti. Three days into their rescue efforts, they died when their helicopter hit a mountain on the foggy night of Feb. 4. Johnson presided at Jalovec’s funeral in Chicago and Ward’s in Ft. Myers, Fla.

In memory of Jalovec, ILAC is selling “Show Your Goodness” t-shirts to help the ongoing relief efforts in Haiti. All profits will be sent to the Jesuit Refugee Service in Haiti to help children suffering from the earthquake. The shirts can be purchased by visiting the showyourgoodness.com website.

Johnson shared his reflections with nationaljesuitnews.com on his time helping at Good Samaritan hospital in the days following the earthquake. You can read his reflections and see his photos by clicking below.

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