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2023 Ordinands

Robenson Siquitte, SJ

Province: Canada

Hometown: Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Highlights of Jesuit Formation:

  1. Worked to promote the human rights of stateless Haitian and Dominican migrants while working with the Jesuit Migrant Service/Solidarite Fwontalye in Haiti.
  2. Taught a philosophy of education course to teachers at Foi et Joie (primary and secondary schools) in Dilaire, Haiti, reflecting on issues such as the purpose of education, ethics and equity.
  3. Served in Detroit at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, the Pope Francis Center and Colombiere Center, a Jesuit retirement center.

Post-Ordination:
Will continue working on his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

Robenson with his family after his ordination to the diaconate. From left: His brother, Jean Philippe; Robenson; his mother, Claire Rose Etienne; his younger sister Rosena; and his father, Jean.

Education:
Licentiate, philosophy, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana; Master of Divinity, Regis College, University of Toronto

Biography:
Robenson Siquitte, SJ, was born in the Delmas commune in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. His family includes his father, Jean Siquitte; his mother, Claire-Rose Etienne; and his three siblings, two sisters and a brother. He grew up in Port-au-Prince, where he attended primary and secondary school. Robenson was raised in a very Christian family, where praying together was important. After high school, he began to discern his vocation to the priesthood. He began studying business, and that same year he contacted the Jesuits in Haiti to join the Society of Jesus. He decided to end his studies to enter the Jesuit pre-novitiate in August 2009. After his novitiate in Haiti from 2010 to 2012, Robenson was sent to Bogotá, Colombia, to do his philosophy studies, where he lived for four and a half years.

After his philosophy studies in Colombia, Robenson did his regency in Ouanaminthe, in northeast Haiti. His main task was to collaborate in the office of the Jesuit Migrant Service/Solidarite Fwontalye as a human rights promoter. His focus was on promoting the rights of Haitian and Dominican migrants who are stateless in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He served as minister of the Jesuit community and lent a hand to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, including catechesis, distribution of the Eucharist, youth ministry and logistics. He also taught a philosophy of education course to the teachers of Foi et Joie in Dilaire, Haiti.

After regency, Robenson was sent to Canada, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree at Regis College at the University of Toronto. After ordination, he will continue working on his Licentiate in Sacred Theology in systematic theology at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

Robenson with Pope Francis and Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, at the pope’s meeting with the Jesuits of Canada and Haiti in Canada in 2022.

What are three words a family member or fellow Jesuit would use to describe you? Do you agree with his or her selections?
Joyful, transparent, creative. These three words come from someone who knows me very well. I agree.

Who’s your favorite saint, and why?
My favorite saint is St. Joseph. Not only did I take my first steps into the Catholic faith at St. Joseph Parish in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, but he is also a saint I admire for his compassion, simplicity and humility.

Fr. Jean Francky Guerrier SJ, vests Robenson during his ordination as a deacon.

What do you love about the Society of Jesus?
I love the way of proceeding of the Society of Jesus, i.e., the ability to adapt in time and place to do the mission entrusted to us. This “way of proceeding” is not determined by activism or having all the tools to minister, but rather means going deeper into ourselves through continuous self-reflection and learning.

Robensen with family at Christmas. From left: his older brother, Jean Philippe; younger sister, Rosena Siquitte, Robensen; his mother, Claire Rose Etienne; and his father, Jean Siquitte.

What was one particularly meaningful experience you had during your formation, and why was it meaningful to you?
The experience with the Jesuit Migrant Service-Haiti for my regency was revelatory. It allowed me to become one with my fellow Haitians who were deported from the neighboring Dominican Republic. I experienced it as a time of listening to deepen my commitment and confirm the call to follow the Lord. It was an opportunity to experience a heart-to-heart relationship with Christ through my work with the voiceless and the destitute in society.

Robenson at an event for World Environment Day in Ouanaminthe, Haiti, in 2018 organized by the Jesuit Migrant Service. Behind him are students he invited to participate in the activity.