In the aftermath of the disastrous January earthquake in Haiti, the Archdiocese of Miami has announced pastoral initiatives to collaborate with Haitian clergy in recovery efforts. Clergy from the archdiocese will minister in refugee camps and care for orphans will be organized. Volunteers for medical missions are also being sought.
A Thursday press release from the archdiocese reported that within days of the earthquake Haitian clergy from the Archdiocese of Miami went to Haiti to determine the damage and to supervise relief efforts. Those efforts included medical care, food provision, monetary assistance and spiritual care.
Relief efforts conducted with the apostolic administrator and clergy in Port-au-Prince include ministry in medical camps located in or around local parishes. Clergy from both countries will celebrate Mass and administer sacraments while praying with those living in the tent cities, camps and clinics.
To help provide rest for the Haitian clergy, a two-week rotation will be established between priests in Haiti and Haitian priests in the Archdiocese of Miami.
Orphans in existing orphanages will be assisted with monetary contributions. To help keep families together, support will also go to orphans being cared for by relatives.
The Archdiocese of Miami has committed to providing qualified, Creole-speaking volunteer counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists to work in the medical camps. It has also pledged a donation of $40,000 to each of the ten Haitian dioceses to help serve displaced persons.
A multi-purpose center serving as a medical facility, storage venue and secure housing for archdiocesan mission teams is also planned. The center will be the main staging area to coordinate the missions. From it, mobile medical missions and food programs will be dispatched.
Funding for these initiatives will come from the more than $1 million collected during the archdiocese’s special collection over Jan. 16-17. No relief funds will be used for administrative costs.
Separately, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami has also received $400,000 for relief efforts locally and in Haiti. Of those funds, $200,000 has been reserved to provide emergency financial assistance and counseling to victims medically evacuated or repatriated into the Archdiocese of Miami. The assistance can also go to the families caring for them.
Food vouchers for up to 90 days and $75 in one-time cash assistance will be provided. Another $10,000 has been allocated for the purchase of Publix food cards to be distributed by pastors at three Haitian parishes in the archdiocese.
Catholic Charities has spent almost $175,000 on relief efforts. About 95,000 lbs of food aid, tents, and medical supplies have been shipped to the Diocese of Port-de-Paix for distribution at designated parishes.
The Archdiocese of Miami says it continues to seek volunteers for medical missions to Haiti, including doctors, nurses, LPNs, and Creole-speaking counselors and psychologists.
“Medical personnel trained in particular specialties, such as orthopedics, dentistry, obstetrics, surgery, pediatrics, etc., are needed as are prosthetics for amputees,” the archdiocese said.
Three parishes are also collecting medical supplies, water bottles, cooking oil, dry beans and rice, canned foods, new clothes and hygiene items.
Donations to the Catholic Charities Miami can also be made through the website http://www.catholiccharitiesadm.org.