The Diocese of Raleigh has received a letter of gratitude from the chairmen of two committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for its generous response to the request to aid the people of Haiti following the devastating earthquake that ravaged the island nation six months ago.
In a letter to Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Most Reverend Jose H. Gomez, Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles and Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America, and Most Reverend Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Chairman of Catholic Relief Services Board of Directors, expressed their heartfelt appreciation to Bishop Burbidge and the faithful of the Diocese for contributions made to assist Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that ravaged the island nation six months ago.
In their letter, the Archbishops noted the amount collected by the Diocese from its parish collection totaled $569,702.83, with an additional $296,910.21 donated from groups and individuals with zip codes in the Diocese of Raleigh for a total of $866,613.04.
Archbishop Gomez and Archbishop Dolan explained that, in addition to addressing the immediate and long-term humanitarian needs of the Haitian people, a portion of the national Special Haiti Relief Collection will be used to provide transitional parish centers so faith communities can gather and be nourished by the sacraments. “The Catholic Church was an important institution in Haiti before the earthquake,” the Archbishops wrote, “and it will continue to play a significant role long into the future.”
The earthquake took more than two-hundred thousand lives, including the Archbishop of the capital city, priests, religious sisters and seminarians. It also destroyed the Cathedral, churches, seminaries and Catholic schools.
The letter explains the USCCB is working closely with the Haitian bishops to help them put in place a construction entity that can ensure that all building carried out with U.S. funds will follow accepted codes and practices. The initiative is being developed as a collaborative effort involving the Haitian Bishops’ Conference, the French Bishops’ Conference, the USCCB and Catholic Relief Services.