The President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Philip Wilson has asked Australians to pray for the victims of the devastating Haiti earthquake which has killed thousands, including Port-au-Prince Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot.
It has been reported that Archbishop Miot was killed when buildings, including the cathedral in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, collapsed. The diocese’s vicar general, Monsignor Benoit, is also reported missing and there are unconfirmed reports of severe damage to the seminary with the fate of seminarians unknown.
Archbishop Wilson said the Catholic aid agency Caritas Australia had moved quickly to establish an appeal for the relief effort and he urged people to donate by calling 1800 024 413 or online at www.caritas.org.au
He echoed Pope Benedict’s invitation for everyone to join him in praying for the victims of the catastrophe and for those mourning their loss.
Archbishop Wilson, who is the Archbishop of Adelaide, said special prayers would be offered by him and the congregation at the 11am Mass at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral in Adelaide this Sunday.
“Our heart goes out to the people of Haiti at this terrible time,” Archbishop Wilson said.
“We will keep them in our prayers and do all we can to support them through emergency support and assisting the massive recovery effort that will be required.”
Caritas has assembled an emergency relief team that is flying to Haiti to provide support to Caritas members already working in the country.
The agency runs over 200 hospitals and medical centres in Haiti. It is experienced and prepared to respond to humanitarian disasters there as a result of the frequent hurricanes.
Released by the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Conference
January 14, 2010