Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Local ties to the tragedy in Haiti and some ways you can help

Our hearts go out to the people most affected by the tragic earthquake in Haiti. In a country that has suffered so much, more suffering. While the pictures reveal a level of devastation to people and property that is unreal, the real pain and sorrow this has caused is unimaginable. Like so many others, I have offered my prayers for the souls lost, the people trapped in the rubble and for the survivors who must now dig out, already having lost loved ones.

I urge anyone to continue to pray and offer sacrifices for the people of Haiti and to contribute to relief efforts.

My own diocese has local ties to Port-au-Prince. With many Haitian immigrants in our area, the Diocese of Norwich "twinned" itself with the Diocese of Port-au-Prince some years ago in an effort to strengthen cultural ties and lend support to the poor of that country. The Haitian Ministries of the Diocese of Norwich does great work there, as does their Hospice Saint Joseph, which welcomes international medical personnel to offer their services to the people of Haiti. The Haitian Ministries office is now collecting donations with a promise of matching funds up to $10,000, so help them out if you could. The two Connecticut residents who staff the mission house there are thankfully alive; the director was trapped in the rubble of the building for hours and was rescued by her husband, who drove six hours to reach her. The full story is here. The Norwich-based Haitian Health Foundation, which has offices in Jeremie, about 100 miles from Port-au-Prince, will also be helping both now and in the future.

Of course, in the aftermath of the earthquake, much tragic news is expected. One local woman, Roberthe Antoine, has already learned that five of her family members have died and is still awaiting news on the rest.

Please continue your prayerful support.

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