Archbishop John C. Nienstedt, of Saint Paul and Minneapolis today called on the priests and people within the 12 counties of the Archdiocese to contribute to relief efforts underway for victims of Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti. “Our own people are coping with financial challenges today,” the Archbishop said, “but that has never halted the generosity of Minnesotans when it comes to helping others in dire need. This tragedy has befallen a country where 80 percent of the population already lives in poverty.
He announced that the Archdiocese’s 217 parishes will take up a second collection for Haitian relief efforts.
“Death tolls, while staggering, have not yet been determined,” Nienstedt added. “At least two of our parishes have sister parish relationships with Catholic congregations in Haiti. Priests and lay people from this area have travelled to Haiti to help these parishes in many ways. We’ve heard that one such parish and school is still standing but another report says the Cathedral, all the large churches and all of the seminaries there are destroyed.”
Among those killed in the quake was Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of Port au Prince whose body was found under the rubble of his residence.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is among the first-line responders to disasters and is already working in Haiti. Donations may be made online at the CRS website. In addition, the Archdiocese is coordinating a second collection in the parishes on the agency’s behalf the weekends of January 16-17 or January 23-24, 2010. Donations may also be made by sending checks to:
The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
CRS Haiti Relief Efforts
226 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55104
*please indicate “CRS Haiti Relief" in the memo line of the check