January 13, 2010
ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK RESPONDING TO HAITIAN TRAGEDY
A special collection will be taken up in all parishes of the Archdiocese of New York this weekend for the relief of the victims of the terrible earthquake in Haiti. At the request of Archbishop Timothy Dolan, a letter from Bishop Dennis Sullivan, Vicar General of the Archdiocese, has been sent to every priest in the Archdiocese, asking that the people of Haiti be remembered in prayer in a special way this weekend, and conveying the Archbishop’s condolences to any member of the Haitian community in New York who lost a loved one in the earthquake.
Archbishop Dolan, who is in Rome for a series of meetings and ceremonies for the 150th Anniversary of the Pontifical North American College, met today with Paul Josef Cardinal Cordes, President of Cor Unum, the Pope’s charitable outreach agency, and with the Haitian Embassy to the Vatican, and assured them that the Archdiocese would provide whatever financial assistance it can. The money raised during this weekend’s collection will be sent to Catholic Relief Services, which is already responding to help the victims of the earthquake. Archbishop Dolan is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services, and had previously scheduled a trip to Haiti in early March; the timing of the trip might have to be adjusted based on the recommendation of the bishops of Haiti to whenever his trip could do the most good for the people in need.
In a special way, Archbishop Dolan echoed and made his own the words of Pope Benedict XVI from this morning’s audience. Pope Benedict said, “"My thoughts go in particular to the nation of Haiti hit just a few hours ago by a devastating earthquake which has caused serious loss of human life, large numbers of homeless and missing people, and vast material damage. I invite everyone to join my prayers to the Lord for the victims of this catastrophe and for those who mourn their loss. I give assurances of my spiritual closeness to people who have lost their homes and to everyone who, in various ways, has been affected by this terrible calamity, imploring God to bring them consolation and relief in their suffering.”
Archbishop Dolan also noted that the Archdiocese of New York is promoting the cause of canonization of Venerable Pierre Toussaint, who was born in Haiti in 1766 and was brought to New York as a slave. Venerable Pierre was known for his tremendous acts of charity, and the Archbishop said it would be wonderful if Catholics in the Archdiocese prayed to Venerable Pierre for the safety and support of the people of Haiti at this difficult time.