A woman holding a rosary prays in a cemetery in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops delegation is visiting the country on a solidarity mission Dec. 14-21. CNS photo/St Felix Evens, Reuters

CCCB delegation makes solidarity mission to Haiti

  • December 13, 2011

OTTAWA - As the second anniversary of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake approaches, a Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops delegation is visiting the country on a solidarity mission Dec. 14-21.

The Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake killed more than 220,000 people, seriously injured more than 300,000 and devastated large sections of Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, Léogâne and other areas. Three million people were left homeless or otherwise seriously affected.

The visit by CCCB president Archbishop Richard Smith, vice president Archbishop Paul-André Durocher and the assistant general secretary Bede Hubbard is intended to celebrate and deepen the relationship between the Catholic bishops of Canada and Haiti. It will also include visits to the projects Canadian Catholics funded through the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.

Canadian Catholics donated more than $20 million towards emergency relief and long-term reconstruction efforts in Haiti. Of that money, Development and Peace has already disbursed $2.8 million for emergency relief through 24 partners, including several religious communities. It has committed $10 million for reconstruction projects for 2011-2013. The bishops will also “recognize and encourage the dedicated work of Canadian religious and other Canadian volunteers in Haiti,” according to a Dec. 8 news release announcing the mission.

Accompanying the bishops’ delegation are Development and Peace’s executive director Michael Casey, communications officer Francois Gloutnay and Latin America and Haiti program officer Normand Compte, who is co-ordinating the mission.

The delegation will not only visit Development and Peace projects but also those of Caritas Internationalis partners in Haiti’s capital Port- au-Prince and in Jacmel, one of the worst-hit areas.

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