The beleaguered Haitian people received some good news on July 23 when a $250,000 donation to rebuild a school was scheduled and a special message from Pope Benedict XVI was delivered.
Benedict XVI's message to the people of Haiti began,“Six months after the earthquake that devastated your island, I want you to know that the Pope hasn’t forgotten you.”
“He always has present the pain that you have lived and knows of your suffering and the difficulties of reconstructing your homes, your cities and your lives,” the Pontiff said.
The administrative council of the Populorum Progressio Foundation, comprised of Catholic prelates from across Latin America and representatives of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," met in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from July 20-23.
During what was their first annual meeting held in a Caribbean nation, they discussed the allocation of funds destined to finance projects that aid indigenous, mestizo and African-American laborers in the Caribbean and throughout Latin America.
At the meeting, 230 projects from 20 different countries from Mexico to Bolivia, Brazil and the Antilles were presented. Besides paperwork, the group visited Church-run aid camps in Haiti celebrated Mass with the local Church community.
The prelates also met with representatives from humanitarian aid organizations and visited the national headquarters of the Catholic charity Caritas, where the president of “Cor Unum,” Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, scheduled a $250,000 donation on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI. The money was originally slated towards rebuilding St. Francis de Sales school in Port-au-Prince, which was destroyed in the devastating earthquake last January. While the donation is in the possession of the bishops it has yet to be delivered due to bureaucratic issues.
A second donation of $50,000 was also delivered in the Holy Father's name to the local chapter of Caritas on the evening of July 23.