January 14, 2010

Bishop Cistone voices prayers for victims of earthquake in Haiti, urges generous support for CRS relief efforts

Religious Order priest who ministered in Saginaw for 20 years among those still missing

SAGINAW — Bishop Joseph R. Cistone on Wednesday called for prayers for victims and support for relief efforts following Tuesday’s devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the island nation of Haiti.

“Our prayers and support are with the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. We pray for those who have lost their lives, those who are suffering physical harm and all the people of Haiti who struggle to bring meaning to this tragedy and to rebuild their lives,” Bishop Cistone said.

“We share a special concern for the well being of Father Tom Moore. May the Lord keep him safe and secure. I also encourage all our faithful to respond generously to the appeals of Catholic Relief Services.”

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw is accepting donations to assist Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in short-term and long-term relief and recovery efforts in Haiti. Special collections will be encouraged through parishes in the diocese’s 11-counties in the coming weeks.

CRS is the official international relief organization of the Catholic Church. CRS has made an initial commitment of $5 million to help with immediate needs including the distribution of emergency relief supplies and lifesaving assistance. The organization has permanent offices and ongoing projects in Haiti, which is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

The epicenter of Tuesday’s massive earthquake was 10 miles southwest of the impoverished nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince, which has more than 2 million inhabitants. Countless people are missing and an untold numbers are dead.

Among those still missing is Father Thomas Moore, a religious order priest of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, who ministered in Saginaw for 20 years, until he followed a call to work with seminarians and the poor in Haiti nearly two years ago. He returned to Haiti on Friday, following a Christmas season visit to Michigan.

“From all the reports we see and hear, the devastation is unimaginable,” said Terri Grierson, director of the Office of Christian Service. “It is our hope and prayer that the generous hearts of people throughout our local communities will offer their own prayerful and financial support – in whatever generous way they can – to the relief efforts being made our brothers and sisters in Haiti.”

Learn more about CRS at the organization’s website, www.crs.org. A link to support the CRS relief efforts also has been provided on the Diocese of Saginaw’s homepage at www.saginaw.org.

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