US Bishops Promise Aid to Rebuild Haitian Churches

Parish Collections to Be Sent to Earthquake Victims

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 25, 2010 ( The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference is assuring the Haitian episcopal conference president of assistance in reconstructing the Church buildings destroyed in the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago, wrote this in a letter to Archbishop Louis Kébreau of Cap-Haïtien, Haiti.

«I wish to express our profound sorrow and deepest condolences for the terrible tragedy that has struck your beloved country,» Cardinal George stated on behalf of the U.S. bishops.

The death toll in Haiti is already over 150,000, and some 3 million survivors were displaced by the disaster.

One of those killed in the quake was Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince.

The funeral of the prelate, which took place Saturday, was attended by Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, who represented all of the U.S. bishops at that event.

That day, he presented to Archbishop Kébreau the cardinal’s letter, which offered «prayers and condolences for Archbishop Miot and for the priests, religious men and women, and seminarians who lost their lives.»

«My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those who are still under the rubble,» Cardinal George affirmed.


He continued: «In the United States, our televisions, computers and newspapers have been filled with images of your unspeakable pain, suffering and loss.

«Each hour we see the faces of the widows and orphans, and all of those who have lost family and friends and all of their life’s possessions.»

«In this hour of sorrow, I want you to know that the Church in the United States stands with you,» the prelate stated.

«In our prayer,» he said, «we recall that Jesus too wept before the tomb of one whom he loved.»

«With you, we recall in trust that he is the resurrection and the life, offering himself to us and calling us to himself even in our darkest hour,» the cardinal affirmed.

«Through the presence of Archbishop Dolan,» who is chairman of Catholic Relief Services, «I wish to convey to the Church and people of Haiti that we too are with you as you struggle to recover,» Cardinal George said.

«The Church in the United States is committed to doing everything we can so that you may rebuild and renew and begin again your lives of faith and family and service to Haiti,» he pledged.

The cardinal affirmed that along with the «food, water, medicine and hope» already being sent to Haiti, preparations are being made to «assist in the rebuilding of churches and other ecclesial structures that serve as a gathering point for prayer and the sacraments.»

«And to do this,» he added, «our faithful are gathering a collection in these days, a sign that reaches back to the time of St. Paul to demonstrate how the faithful love one another.»

The prelate stated: «We are doing everything we can so that you can see clearly that you are not alone. And we will stay here to help you.»

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