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January 13, 2010


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, is expressing his solidarity with the people of Haiti following the devastating earthquake and offering his prayerful support. Cardinal Rigali said, "At this time of destruction and loss of life in the country of Haiti, I urge all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to pray for those who have died and are suffering as a result of the devastating earthquake in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. This is an unimaginable tragedy in a country that already experiences tremendous poverty and hardship. I also extend my prayers and condolences to the family and faithful of the Most Reverend Joseph Serge Miot, the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, who lost his life in the earthquake. I pray too for the hundreds of priests, seminarians and religious who are reported to have died. My sympathy and heartfelt compassion are also with the Haitian community here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as they mourn and wait for word of loved ones in Haiti."

Cardinal Rigali is asking all 269 parishes in the five-county Archdiocese to include prayers for those who lost their lives and those still suffering in Haiti at Masses this coming weekend and to announce that there will be a special collection for relief efforts in Haiti on Saturday and Sunday, January 23-24, 2010.* All funds donated by parishioners will be forwarded to Catholic Relief Services which is the official international relief and development agency of the United States Catholic community. The Cardinal said, "Many challenges will face the Haitian people in the days and months ahead. Through prayerful solidarity we support our brothers and sisters who are experiencing such terrible devastation in their homes and towns."

On Sunday, January 17, 2010, Cardinal Rigali will lead an Ecumenical Prayer Service in remembrance of the life of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. The Office for Black Catholics also plans for a collection to be taken up for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. The prayer service will take place at 3:00 p.m. at St. Patrick Parish, DeKalb and Chestnut Streets in Norristown, Montgomery County.


*The annual collection in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) had been previously set for this coming weekend, January 16-17, 2010 and will continue as scheduled. CRS operates on five continents and in over 90 countries, including Haiti,aiding the poor by first providing direct assistance wherever needed. For more information, visit

Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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