Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Bishop Wenski Pleads for Help for the Haitians

Devastated by the Tropical Storm...

From CNS STORY: Death toll mounts after Tropical Storm Jeanne causes floods in Haiti:

"In the immediate aftermath of Tropical Storm Jeanne, a Haitian church official called Coadjutor Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando, Fla., with the plea, 'We need help fast.'

More than 600 people were killed in the beleaguered nation's latest disaster, with rescue workers predicting a much higher death toll in mudslides resulting from the storm.

Bishop Wenski said he spoke with a church official from Gonaives, Haiti, a northern city where more than 500 people died. About half of Gonaives remained submerged Sept. 21.

'He said, 'We need food, we need clothing, we need medicine, mattresses.' But most of all, they need funds,'' the bishop told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview.

The bishop called on Catholics to donate to Catholic Relief Services, which has a substantial presence in Haiti, or to find parishes in their dioceses that have twinning programs with parishes in Haiti.

'Those two structures will provide means for providing assistance to Haitians in their moment of need,' Bishop Wenski said.

The bishop said there were unconfirmed reports that an elderly Oblate priest was killed in the flooding."