The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge will celebrate a Mass, Tuesday, January 19 at 12:10PM for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The Mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh.
Bishop Burbidge is requesting parishes in the Diocese of Raleigh to take a second collection this week with the Diocese forwarding the donations to Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the international relief agency of the US Catholic Church. CRS has been working in Haiti for 55 years, currently operating with some 300 staff members. The agency, which has programs in approximately 100 countries, is directing its full attention on the devastated impoverished country. In the first hours after the earthquake struck, CRS committed an initial $5 million dollars in aid and on Friday afternoon, January 15, announced it expects to increase that to at least $25 million hours expected from its generous supporters. To date, CRS reports it has received $6 million in cash, including $1 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and $225,000 from the New York Yankees baseball team. CRS notes every donation, regardless of the size will make a difference in responding to this tremendous humanitarian crisis.
Karel Zelenka, CRS’ country representative in Haiti, reports CRS was able to respond immediately because of its long-time presence in the country. It’s been able to provide food and water from its warehouses in the Haitian capital and the city of Las Cayes. In neighboring Dominican Republic, CRS is preparing food packages to feed 50,000 people, along with shipping basic utensils, water purification tablets and plastic sheeting.
In addition to asking for donations, Bishop Burbidge is asking Catholics to join him in prayer for the victims and those who mourn their loss.
God of all creation, as we weep with our family in Haiti, console us.
In this time of crisis, open our eyes to look beyond the disaster to see Christ in our brothers and sisters in Haiti, as Christ sees us.
Be with us as we stand in solidarity with those living and working in Haiti.
Be with us in our mourning and guide our efforts to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, comfort the grieving and stand for justice.
With your mercy, sustain us at this time as we continue to work for peace and justice.