Jan 14, 2010 3:46 PM by JThibodeaux
LAFAYETTE-Bishop Michael Jarrell of the Diocese of Lafayette, has issued a letter to all pastors, administrators and parish life coordinators of Catholic church parishes in the diocese urging a special collection this weekend or as soon as possible thereafter for relief efforts in Haiti following the devastation of the recent earthquake.
In a letter to the bishops of the United States, Cardinal Francis George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that ravaged Haiti "destroyed countless homes, churches, seminaries, schools, and other buildings and has left millions without the most basic necessities of life. Our faith compels us to pray for and reach out to our brothers and sisters in their time of suffering."
Cardinal George added: "These funds will be used to support the efforts of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic Church, as they respond to immediate emergency needs for such necessities as water, food, shelter and medical care, as well as to the long term need to rebuild after widespread destruction, and to the pastoral and reconstruction needs of the Church in Haiti.
"Catholic Relief Services is already mounting a major emergency response to this severe disaster and has committed an initial $5 million to fund relief efforts which are likely to go on for some time. Your help and the help of the Catholic people of the United States are urgently needed.
"Next weekend January 23-24, many dioceses are scheduled to take up the Collection for the Church in Latin America. This Collection is vitally important for our ability to respond to the pastoral needs of the Church in Haiti and other parts of Latin America in the weeks and months ahead. We urge that you use both of these opportunities to express our solidarity and our loving support for our brothers and sisters in Haiti and ask you not to substitute one collection for the other."
Bishop Jarrell also asked that pastors lead parishioners in prayer for all who are suffering in this difficult time.