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May 5, 2010


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, presented a check for $1,807,269 this morning to Mr. Ken Hackett, President of Catholic Relief Services, at Incarnation of Our Lord Parish in the Olney section of Philadelphia. The money was raised through special collections at the 267 parishes of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia since the January 12, 2010 earthquake that devastated the country of Haiti. Reverend Jerry Pinero, Pastor of Incarnation of Our Lord Parish, welcomed Cardinal Rigali to the parish which has a large number of parishioners personally impacted by the Haitian earthquake.

Cardinal Rigali said, "It is a real joy to be here because this gives us the opportunity once again to express very close solidarity with the Haitian people-our community here in Philadelphia and the people in Haiti. And so our gathering today for the presentation of this check is a living expression of something even more important. Namely it is the love that goes out from heart to heart and embraces the community. At this time it is my great joy to be able to give a tangible expression of the very beautiful and profound love of the people of this Archdiocese of Philadelphia. How wonderful it is that amidst this tremendous tragedy, amidst all the loss of life, that it could generate so much love, so much solidarity and such a response that comes directly from the heart."

Also attending the presentation were Incarnation of Our Lord parishioners who sang hymns in Haitian Creole; Reverend Monsignor Joseph Logrip, Vicar for Philadelphia - North and Ms. Maureen McCullough, Director for the Northeast-Mid-Atlantic Region, Catholic Relief Services. Reverend Albert Gardy Villarson, the Chaplain to the Haitian community in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, offered a prayer and thanked Cardinal Rigali and the people of the Archdiocese. There are almost 2,300 Haitian Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia; Haiti is approximately 80 percent Catholic.

Catholic Relief Services is the official overseas relief agency of the United States Bishops. When the earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, CRS immediately sprang into action, delivering food, water and emergency shelter, and using a variety of ways to provide clean drinking water and improve sanitation throughout a number of camps. Accepting the check from Cardinal Rigali, Ken Hackett, the CRS President, expressed gratitude to the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, "Catholic Relief Services takes the role of steward as you entrust your gifts to us. We take that role very seriously. We have a very large program in Haiti, over 500 staff, and we are engaged in making sure that we respond to the maximum extent we can in the best way we can in the needs of people who are suffering both in Port-Au-Prince and now in other parts of the country. So we thank you for your generosity, we thank you for your compassion, your concern of and for the people in Haiti who are suffering today. And things will continue to be difficult for the next few months as we move into the hurricane season."

Parishioners in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have contributed more than $9 million since 2001 to disaster relief efforts, including $2,880,912 for the Victims of Hurricane Katrina and $2,844,076 for Tsunami relief efforts.

Catholic Relief Services,, is the official overseas relief agency of the Catholic Bishops of the United States. CRS operates on more than five continents and in over 90 countries, including Haiti.

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Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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