October 5, 2016
Dear friends in Christ,
While Hurricane Matthew is still raging along the Eastern Seaboard this weekend, the devastation that lies in its wake is beyond our imaginations. The people of Haiti, along with the Dominican Republic and so many other Carribean island nations, are faced with immediate, life-threatening challenges due to the flood waters which have brought cholera, destruction of nearly all infrastructure, and the loss of homes for tens of thousands of men, women and children.
In particular, the Diocese of Les Cayes, our twinned diocese, bore the brunt of the storm as the eye of the hurricane passed over the west end of the island nation. Cardinal Chibly Langlois has informed me that, along with the loss of all agriculture and destruction to homes, 80% of their parishes and school, which often serve as community centers for the people, have sustained significant damage. He has asked for our assistance. Therefore I am asking that a special collection be taken as soon as possible within the current schedule of our individual parishes. We will forward these funds to Haiti as soon as possible. Individuals may also send a check directly to the chancery if they so choose at 49 Elm Street, Worcester, MA 01609, made payable to “R.C. Bishop of Worcester” with a notation for Haitian Relief. A secure electronic donation page has also been set up on our website at www.worcesterdiocese.org.
As importantly, we need your prayers for those who have died, for those who are struggling to find hope, families who are grieving the loss of a loved one, and for the many relief workers who are there on our behalf. In this Year of Mercy, join me in asking God, the Source of all mercy, to bring comfort and hope to all in need.
With every prayerful best wish, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ
Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, S.T.D.
Bishop of Worcester