Canadian Bishops on Solidarity Mission to Haiti

Thursday, December 08 2011

Plenary2011_7(CCCB – Ottawa)…  The President and Vice President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will participate in a solidarity mission to Haiti, organized by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) from December 14 to 21, 2011.

The visit of CCCB President, Archbishop Richard Smith, and Vice President, Archbishop Paul-André Durocher, is intended to 1) celebrate the long-standing relationship between the Church in Haiti and the Church in Canada; 2) deepen the relationship of the Bishops of Canada with the Bishops of Haiti; 3) see firsthand the reconstruction and emergency aid projects that are being assisted by CCODP because of the generous donations of Canadian Catholics; 4) recognize and encourage the dedicated work of Canadian religious and other Canadian volunteers in Haiti.

The two Bishops will be accompanied by the Conference’s Assistant General Secretary, Mr. Bede Hubbard. Development and Peace will be represented by its Executive Director, Mr. Michael Casey, along with the coordinator of the solidarity mission, Mr. Normand Compte, Programs Officer for Latin America and Haiti, and Mr. François Gloutnay, its communications officer.

The visit has been scheduled shortly before the second anniversary of the January 2010 earthquake, the worst to hit Haiti in 200 years. More than 220,000 people were killed and the lives of three million seriously affected, including more than 300,000 people treated for serious injuries. The earthquake caused large-scale devastation in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, Léogâne and other areas. The upcoming solidarity mission will include visits to CCODP and other Caritas Internationalis projects in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel.

Canadian Catholics contributed more than $20 million to CCODP in response to the disaster.  Within the year following the earthquake, Development and Peace had already disbursed $2.8 million to support the emergency relief projects of its 24 partners in the country, which included a number of religious communities. An additional $10 million has now also been committed for 2011 to 2013 to reconstruction projects.