Bishops Launch Novena for Haiti, 1 Year Post-Quake

Knights of Columbus Continue Helping Children Who Lost Limbs

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 7, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is inviting the faithful to ask Our Lady of Guadalupe to help Haiti, one year after the devastating earthquake the destroyed the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, Florida, chairman of the Special Advisory Group for Haiti at the USCCB, confirmed that the island nation is still in need of “prayers and solidarity” as the Jan. 12 one-year anniversary date approaches.

He noted solidarity among Catholics in all sorts of organizations, remembering “the tragic events of that fateful afternoon” and responding “in a faith-filled way.”

The USCCB is inviting Catholics to start a nine-day novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe on the anniversary date, next Wednesday. The novena will culminate with Mass on the weekend of Jan. 22-23, which is the official date for the National Collection for Latin America, including Haiti and all of the Caribbean.

Changing life forever

Meanwhile, the Knights of Columbus are preparing to mark the anniversary with a continued effort in their “Healing Haiti’s Children” program.

The Knights contributed more than 1 million to the Haiti relief effort, specifically through this program, which is supplying prosthetic care with rehab for at least two years without cost for every child who suffered an amputation as a result of the earthquake. The Knights are collaborating with Project Medishare for the program.

“We are honored to be able to give the important gift of hope to the children of Haiti,” said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “It is rare to be able to give a gift that changes a life forever. Providing mobility does just that, for few things can change a child’s life as completely as the ability to regain freedom of movement.”

More than 100 children have already been fitted with prostheses and have begun therapy, while hundreds more will soon receive a prosthetic through the program.

However, since the prosthetic limbs are for growing children, they require two or three new ones each year, “which makes it essential to continue this life and limb saving project,” said Dr. Barth Green, founder of Project Medishare.

“Project Medishare is proud of its partnership with the Knights of Columbus,” he said, “which has allowed us to launch hundreds of Haitian children from wheelchairs to standing up and facing the many challenges of their devastated nation.”

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On the Net:

USCCB’s Haiti site: www.usccb.org/haiti/one-year-later.shtml

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe: www.usccb.org/haiti/Novena-to-our-Lady-of-Guadalupe.pdf

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