ICMC celebrates life, service of long-time Governing Committee member
GENEVA, 17 December 2010—Having served over fifteen years as an active member ICMC and its Governing Committee, the International Catholic Migration Commission celebrates the life and contributions of H.E. Archbishop François Gayot, who passed away 16 December 2010 at the age of 83.
H.E. Mgr Gayot was considered a driving force within ICMC. He was known for his great spiritual quality, sound judgment and the intensity of his prayers. During his last Council meeting of the ICMC, held just a month before his death, he had expressed a farewell in a message of hope and prayer for the many migrants, their suffering and their simple ambition to have a better life.
Ordained February 7th 1954 and elevated Archbishop of Cap-Haitien on April 7th 1988, Mgr. Gayot became a member of the International Migration Commission Governing Committee in 1994, where he continuously expressed his great solidarity with all those who felt migration was their only option. He knew first-hand the poverty of his population and shared their sorrows in simple, inviting works while always witnessing a deep spiritual dimension. He was particularly torn by issues relating to the best-interests of orphaned Haitian children who, in some cases, may have greater opportunities outside of their home country, and was known for his work in seeking secure, legal ways for such adoptions.
Over the course of a full life, Mgr. Gayot made important contributions to the programming and collaborative work of the various local and international civil society actors present in Haiti and frequently asked for support and help in his passionate endeavors to unite the various actors. The late archbishop’s most recent concerns included especially the many cross-border activities that need to be regulated, the forced return of Haitian migrants and the increased need for his people to leave the island after the devastating earthquake earlier this year.
ICMC will remember him for this moral authority and great power of prayer, for his quality judgment and his comfort and encouragements in the face of even the most difficult discussions. We invite all to join with us in prayer and hope for eternal life.
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