Wilmington, DE – All Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Wilmington will be conducting a special collection at all Masses this weekend (January 16 and 17) to aid victims of the devastating earthquake that shook the island nation of Haiti on January 12, 2010, the diocese announced today. Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly, Bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington, announced that the money donated will go to assist Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) response to the emergency.
CRS has made an initial commitment of 5 million dollars for immediate use in the relief effort. The agency is geared up for a major emergency response to this severe disaster, including mobilizing food and deploying emergency shelter and hygiene kits in Haiti, as well as bringing supplies in from the neighboring Dominican Republic, the agency reports.
“The people of our diocese are extremely generous,” said Bob Krebs, Spokesman for the Diocese of Wilmington. “We saw a wonderful outpouring of support after the December 2004 Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. We expect the Catholics of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore to generously help our Haitian brothers and sisters as best they can.”
The CRS offices in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince were shaken, with some damage to the compound walls, but there were no injuries in the building. Two CRS staff members remain unaccounted for, CRS Reports although communication with Haiti remains very difficult.
CRS Country Representative Karel Zelenka reports that “Port-au-Prince was covered with a plume of dust from damaged buildings. We should be prepared for many thousands of dead and injured.”
There are also recently confirmed reports that the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Monsignor Joseph Serge Miot, was a victim of the quake. The Cathedral of Notre Dame in Port-au-Prince has sustained severe damage.
More information on the U.S. Catholic community’s response to the earthquake is available at @link href=’http://www.crs.org’target=”_blank”>www.crs.org/link or through @link href=’http://www.cdow.org’target=”_blank”>www.cdow.org/link.
The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 57 parishes, 18 missions and 35 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. There are over 233,000 Catholics in the diocese.