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April 14, 2011


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, is asking all 267 parishes in the five-county Archdiocese to include prayers for the people of Japan at Masses during the Easter season and to consider taking up a special collection to support humanitarian efforts currently underway overseas. These actions are expressions of solidarity with the people of Japan in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami as well as the current crisis surrounding its nuclear power facilities.

Cardinal Rigali said, "At this time of destruction and loss of life in the country of Japan, I urge all of the faithful in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to pray for those who have died and who continue to suffer physical and mental anguish as a result of the devastation. My sympathy and heartfelt compassion are with the people of Japan as well as the local Japanese community."

Relief efforts to assist the most vulnerable and support the Japanese Church in its ongoing mission of compassion are being led by Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Japan. All proceeds collected within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will be forwarded directly to these organizations. Direct donations can be made by individuals online at


Editor's Note: Catholic Relief Services ( is the official overseas relief agency of the United States Catholic Bishops. It operated on five continents and in over 90 countries, including Japan. Caritas Japan ( is the official humanitarian organization of the Japanese Catholic Conference.

Kenneth A. Gavin
Associate Director of Communications

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