In a recent letter sent to the Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Archbishop Louis Kébreau, President of the Bishop's conference in Haiti, lauded the group and gave them his “deepest gratitude” for their financial contributions to the country, particularly the aid they have given to the surviving seminarians in the area.
In addition to supplying $70,000 in emergency assistance to Haiti, ACN also provided $100,000 to the remaining seminarians who survived the catastrophic Jan. 12 earthquake and were left destitute. ACN reported that at least 26 seminarians died and more than 200 of them were stranded after their seminary buildings collapsed. In his message, Archbishop Kébreau said the seminarians were now receiving ongoing medical aid and counseling.
“With this letter, I would like to express my deepest gratitude on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Haiti and also the seminarians…True love is compassionate. Your kind gesture gives us the strength and hope to build and unite our efforts to carry on … ,” Archbishop Kébreau told ACN earlier this week.
Aid to the Church in Need also received a message from the Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, who gave them a brief report on how the charity’s money has been spent. The nuncio explained in his letter that the funding is being used for both short term projects – such as emergency aid, including food and medical care – to long term projects which include paying fees for children who attend Catholic schools in the area.
Archbishop Auza also mentioned that funds are being given to provide a temporary chancellery for the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince, which was demolished in the earthquake along with the Cathedral and church offices.
The nuncio also spoke of the “huge task” of reconstructing the devastated country, a process he said will take decades. Haiti President Rene Preval announced on Feb. 22 that the death toll was expected to reach almost 300,000, a number much higher than previously assumed.
In spite of the current struggles faced by those in Haiti, Archbishop Kebreau remained hopeful in his letter to ACN, saying “My messages are with you (ACN). God is love, truth and justice and he wants us to create a new civilization, one of love."