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Haitian Bishop Sees Hope in Solidarity

Seeks Aid to Rebuild Cathedral and Society

JACMEL, Haiti, FEB. 28, 2011 (Zenit.org).- More than a year after the earthquake that destroyed his country, Bishop Launay Saturné is looking to partnerships with foreign parishes and schools to help rebuild the Church in Haiti.

The bishop of Jacmel told Aid to the Church in Need that the people of his diocese are still celebrating Mass in a tent after the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake destroyed the cathedral.

He underlined the need for international aid to rebuild the cathedral — along with other demolished Church properties — which is a “symbolic place,” a “place of unity.”

The prelate expressed gratitude toward all around the world who “showed such solidarity in the darkest hours of Haitian history.”

He underlined the hope that “the attention focused on the Church in Haiti will continue, so that this terrible catastrophe for Haiti will be an opportunity for rebirth and a new departure.”

The bishop noted that this rebuilding includes more than the Church structures.

There can be “no rebuilding without mission, without evangelization, without prayer, without the proclamation of the Word of God,” he stated.

Mission

Bishop Saturné continued: “The fact that I survived the earthquake shows me that God still needs me and that I have a mission to fulfill.

“As shepherd of my diocese, I tell people who have lost everything, that even if everything else has gone, God has still spared our lives.

“With them we have the duty to work for a more humane, more reconciled world and for a better future.”

He noted that the earthquake has shown his people that “the things of this world are very fragile.”

The prelate underlined the need to strengthen society even as the reconstruction of buildings is underway.

The earthquake united the Haitian people in an “all-embracing brotherliness and solidarity,” he noted.

Now, the bishop said, “the bond of solidarity that unites us” must be further cultivated.

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