An Urgent Request to Everyone in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown

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People walk along the street next to destroyed buildings following an earthquake in Jérémie, Haiti, Aug. 14, 2021. (CNS photo/courtesy TWITTER @JCOMHaiti/ via Reuters) NO ARCHIVES. MUST DISCARD 30 DAYS AFTER DOWNLOAD.

A Message by Bishop Mark

In a matter of 72 hours (August 14-16), the Caribbean country of Haiti was struck by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that destroyed countless homes, churches, and schools, and flooding by Tropical Storm Grace impeded rescue efforts.

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Americas, with corruption, political instability, poor infrastructure, lack of health care, and lack of education. In good times, the average family lives on less than $2 per day. The people and the country of Haiti have not recovered from the last major earthquake in 2010. Help, our help, is desperately needed.

I am asking everyone in our diocese young and old to contribute to a special collection for Haiti that is to be taken up at all the Masses on the weekend of September 18-19. Online donations are also encouraged through the GIVING section of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown website.  All proceeds will be given to Catholic Relief Services for immediate distribution. The need is so great at this time. Schools, businesses, churches, and medical centers have been severely damaged or completely destroyed. Medical supplies and even clean drinking water is not readily available.

Please be generous in responding to our neighbors in their time of need. Please be a Good Samaritan!

Thank you for your prayers and financial donations for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

Bishop Mark