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Caritas aid reaching Haiti; US parishes to take up special collection

Catholic World News - January 14, 2010

Caritas, the international consortium of Catholic relief agencies, is offering first aid and distributing tents and blankets to the victims of the massive earthquake in Haiti. “The immediate needs are for tents for provisional shelters, covers, clothing, clean water, food, psychological support, first aid materials, drugs, flashlights and batteries,” said Caritas Haiti Head of Emergencies Joseph Jonidès Villarson. “The streets and public places are filled with people who do not know where to go. We fear violence if the situation continues. Looting has already broken out. There is very little visible presence of the police.”

Cardinal Francis George, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Timothy Dolan, board chairman of Catholic Relief Services, have asked US priests to take up a second collection in parishes this weekend to “respond to immediate emergency needs for such necessities as water, food, shelter and medical care, as well as to the long term need to rebuild after widespread destruction, and to the pastoral and reconstruction needs of the Church in Haiti.”

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