WASHINGTON (USCCB) — Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), expressed the prayers and solidarity of the U.S. bishops and Catholic for the people of Japan following the March 11 earthquake.
In his March 14 letter to Archbishop Leo Jun Ikenaga, SJ, of Osaka, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan, Archbishop Dolan said the “estimates of suffering, loss of life and physical damage challenge our ability to grasp the reality of such an event.”
Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the humanitarian agency of the U.S. bishops, is responding to the tragedy and receiving donations, said Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona, chairman of the CRS board.
“These will be used for the immediate humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable and support the local Catholic Church in its on-going mission,” said Bishop Kicanas. Catholics interested in supporting the work of CRS can visit: http://crs.org/
The full text of Archbishop Dolan’s letter follows:
Dear Archbishop Ikenaga,
I write today conscious of the terrible earthquake that has struck Japan. The first news reports of the preliminary estimates of suffering, loss of life and physical damage challenge our ability to grasp the reality of such a massive event.
My letter is to make a first contact with you to assure you of the prayers and solidarity of the bishops and faithful in the United States at this difficult moment. We commend the Church and the people of Japan to the intercession of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, asking her to care for all of those left in conditions of suffering because of the quake and the aftershocks.
I know that our Catholic Relief Services has already been in touch with Caritas in Japan. They are already studying the situation with the goal of being as helpful as possible in responding to the tragedy.
Again, Archbishop Okada, please know of our prayers and solidarity with you at this moment.
Faithfully in Christ,
Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops