Wake for First U.S. Haitian Bishop Guy Sansaricq Held at Brooklyn’s St. Jerome’s Parish

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By Jessica Easthope

One-by-one, a line of mourners came to say a goodbye to Bishop Guy Sansaricq but the farewell was especially painful for Michele Guerrier, someone who considered him a spiritual father and a best friend.

“Father Guy meant the world to me, but I’m hopeful we’re going to get a saint out of this one,” she said.

A wake for Bishop Guy Sansaricq was held, Aug. 31, at St. Jerome’s Parish in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, where he served as pastor for more than a decade. He died on Aug. 2, just one day shy of the 15th anniversary of his episcopal ordination.

He spent 50 years of his ministry as invaluable resource for Haitians in the Diocese of Brooklyn, not just for spiritual needs but social, economic and immigration needs too.

“To make a community where people from Haiti from any corner could feel they belonged to one body, his message was one of unity,” said Monsignor Pierre-Andre Pierre.

Msgr. Pierre had been living with Bishop Sansaricq at St. Gregory the Great in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, for more than a year. He said he’ll miss their nightly strolls through the neighborhood, but is proud to follow in his footsteps, taking over as the leader of National Center of the Haitian Apostolate, for now.

“He was the man in the house at St. Gregory, he was the glue,” he said.

Following the recent earthquake in Haiti, Bishop Sansaricq, the first Haitian bishop in the U.S., quickly turned his efforts to the people and home he loved. Parishioners say he was both a powerhouse and a humble pastor.

“You always felt comfortable coming to Mass, talking to him,” said Merline Mainville, a long-time parishioner and family friend of Bishop Sansaricq. “You could tell he had a soft heart and everyone felt that way children and adults alike.”

Bishop Sansaricq’s wake on Wednesday, Sept. 1, will be held at St. Gregory the Great in Crown Heights and his Mass of Christian burial will be held on Thursday, Sept. 2, at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights.