For Release :
Archdiocese Parishioners and Students Contribute $1 Million to Haiti Relief
Collection is largest in Archdiocesan History in Response to Disaster Relief
The more than 1.3 million Catholics in the Archdiocese of Newark have responded most generously to the call for financial assistance in the wake of the disaster in Haiti by raising $1 million to date from special collections in the parishes and schools of the Archdiocese. These funds will be used to assist Catholic Relief Services in supplying critical food, medical supplies, water and hygiene materials, and shelter for the Haitian people at this time. Additional funds are expected to be reported by parishes in the coming week.
This collection represents the largest financial response to a call for disaster relief assistance ever by the Archdiocese, and is more than $300,000 above last year’s annual collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious.
In commenting on the level of the this local contribution to the international relief effort, The Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark stated: "Since I first called on the people of this great Archdiocese almost a month ago, I have been amazed and gratified by the fullness of their response. From special collections in parishes, to fundraisers and events by the 37,000 students in our schools, the efforts of young and old are a testament to the kinship that we feel here in the Archdiocese for the Haitian people.
"As I said at the time of the earthquake, tens of thousands of Haitians live and worship as part of the Body of Christ that is the Church here in northern New Jersey," the Archbishop continued. "A number of our parishes have special mission relationships with local health facilities and schools in the country. Every one of us has shared the pain of our Haitian brothers’ and sisters’ suffering and loss as if it were our own."
The Archbishop also commented on the partnership between the Archdiocese and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the agency that is receiving the funds for use in Haitian relief. "CRS has been working to improve the lives of the Haitian people for some 50 years," he said. "They have the systems, operations and people in place - and most of all, the trust of the Haitian people -- to make a difference immediately at this time. Because of the extremely low administrative costs of CRS, I know that virtually all of the funds collected here in the Archdiocese will go toward providing the supplies and services critical to treat people both physically and spiritually at this time.
"I am grateful to the people of the Archdiocese for their generosity, and I am especially grateful to the members of our Haitian Apostolate for their guidance and zeal in helping us meet the demands of this moment."
In a letter to pastors of Archdiocesan parishes and principals of schools this week, the Archbishop called on the people of the Archdiocese to continue to pray for the people of Haiti, and also to continue efforts to support relief in Haiti to the extent they can with additional collections and fundraisers. "The lives of the people of Haiti changed in an instant on one day in January 2010," he wrote, "but the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is timeless, and calls on us always to be ready and willing to help those in need."
Archbishop Myers has invited all parishioners of the Archdiocese to join him at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 6 as he celebrates a special Mass for the suffering people of Haiti.
Anyone interested in contributing to the Archdiocese of Newark’s special Haitian earthquake relief effort may do so at any Catholic parish, or may send donations to:
Archdiocese of Newark - Haitian Earthquake Relief
c/o Office of Finance
P.O. Box 9500
Newark, NJ 07104-0500