US Bishops' Committee to Visit Haiti

Only Haitian-American Prelate Is Part of Advisory Group

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WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 25, 2010 ( The U.S. episcopal conference has created an advisory committee to study a continuing aid response to the Jan. 12 earthquake that destroyed the Haitian capital and killed its archbishop.

Members of the group will visit the island next week.

The advisory committee was created by Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio, chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America.

Archbishop Gomez, who will chair the advisory group, will be joined by Cardinal Seán O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando, and Bishop Guy Sansaricq, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn and the only Haitian-American bishop in the United States.

“The visit by the advisory group of bishops will help begin an assessment and enable us to advise […] on the eventual distribution of special collection funds,” Archbishop Gomez explained. “The purpose in setting up a special advisory group is to ensure that we can remain focused on the long term development needs of the Church in Haiti. The bishops will call upon other experts to help them in this task.”

The San Antonio prelate noted how 110 U.S. dioceses have offered aid to Haiti, coming to nearly $30 million. «Money from parishes and dioceses continues to come in,» he added.

Cardinal O’Malley said the worldwide response to Haiti is «unprecedented.»

«The Catholic response in particular is a profound example of stewardship and the universal bonds that unite the Church,» he said. «In traveling to Haiti, we will express the ongoing concern of all those Catholics who have reached out to Haiti in prayer and material support.»

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