Archive for January, 2010

Jesuit Conference President Fr. Thomas Smolich on Haitian Earthquake Relief Efforts

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In this short video clip, Jesuit Father Thomas Smolich, president of the Jesuit Conference of the United States, talks of the Jesuits’ efforts in Haiti to provide earthquake relief. Through the mobilization of the Society of Jesus’ missionary arm, Jesuit Refugee Service, the Jesuits are responding to God’s call to provide aid to the suffering and to stand in solidarity with the people of Haiti during their time of need.

National Jesuit News is urging people to give to the Jesuit organization Jesuit Refugee Service to help those in Haiti.

To support JRS/USA’s humanitarian response to the emergency needs of the Haitian people, please click here to be directed to their secure website and choose “Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.”

Or you may send a check to:

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
1016 16th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

Checks should be made payable to “Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.”
Please clearly note “Haiti Earthquake Relief” in the memo field on the check.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Director on Haitian Earthquake Relief Efforts

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Jesuit Refugee Service has provided emergency relief in the form of food, medicine, tents and debris-removal tools to about 16,000 citizens in Port-au-Prince to aid their recovery from last week’s devastating earthquake. Additionally, in coordinated efforts with partner organizations in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, JRS has set up several locations throughout the countries to deliver aid to more people suffering from the effects of the earthquake in an efficient and organized manner. One of the JRS staging centers for earthquake relief in Haiti is the Jesuit novitiate in Port-au-Prince. Tents have been set up in the courtyard for medical volunteers to sleep in, and trucks unload their goods at the novitiate as well.

In this short video clip below, Jesuit Father Ken Gavin, national director of JRS/USA, speaks to the efforts of JRS as they move much needed supplies across the Dominican Republic/Haitian border into Port-au-Prince to their staging centers.

While the current needs are for the emergency resources for the earthquake victims, JRS will continue to be a presence in Haiti, long the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, with help in their long-term needs for stabilization, education and relief from widespread poverty.

National Jesuit News is urging people to give to the Jesuit organization Jesuit Refugee Service to help those in Haiti.

To support JRS/USA’s humanitarian response to the emergency needs of the Haitian people, please click here to be directed to their secure website and choose “Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.”

Or you may send a check to:

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
1016 16th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

Checks should be made payable to “Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.”
Please clearly note “Haiti Earthquake Relief” in the memo field on the check.

Jesuit Father Pedro Suarez, Returning from the Dominican Republic, Reports on the Situation in Haiti

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Haiti Cathedral2
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Jesuit Father Pedro Suarez, returning from the Dominican Republic, reports on the situation in Haiti, including the relief efforts.

If anything good can come out of a disaster like this, it is a new attitude of mercy and solidarity that I found among the Dominican people towards their neighbors. TV marathons are being held and there are many calls from all sides to generously help Haiti with money, water, food, milk (the kind that can be stored without refrigeration), bandages and medications.

Several Jesuits who work with Haitians in the Dominican Republic have gone to Haiti to help. Every parish and school in the DR is collecting goods for Haiti and even our Jesuit House of Philosophy (where many young Haitian Jesuits are studying) has become a ‘centro de acopio’(storage center) for receiving and distributing all kinds of goods to the other side of the border. The President of the Dominican Republic, Lionel Fernandez, went to Port-au-Prince to show his solidarity and that of his country to Monsieur Preval, the overwhelmed Haitian President.

The only Jesuit who was seriously hurt (known as Fr Nono) was brought to Santo Domingo to be operated on and apparently his surgery went well and saved his leg, badly hurt by a falling wall. He is the Director of ‘Fe y Alegria’, a popular educational institution spread out in many countries of Latin America and even Africa.

Not to repeat what everyone has seen on TV or learned from emails, to say that the situation in Haiti is critical is an understatement. On the plane from Santo Domingo to Miami I was sitting next to a British journalist returning from Haiti who told me that ‘in Haiti there is no government’, as it has become dismantled by the earthquake.

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Haitian Update Blogged by Canadian Jesuit Novice

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Artur Suski is a Jesuit novice from Canada who was in Haiti when the earthquake hit. He sent he following update to the blog Friends in the Lord.

Edmund Lo, the other Jesuit novice, and I arrived in Haiti on January 5th, and we came with the intention of being here until June 1st. We already started working at the Jesuit-run high school, St-Ignace, for grades 7 to 12, two days after arriving at Port-Au-Prince. We were supposed to teach English, Organic Chemistry, and also lead the physical education program, organizing basketball practices.

On the day of the earthquake we were at our house. Edmund and I were on the second floor when the floor literally began to ’swim’. There were loud crashes around us as both of our neighbours’ houses collapsed and a third house was partially damaged. Our house was left unharmed except for a few cracks but these aren’t very serious.

Right after the earthquake, many injured and wounded Haitians came to us and we cleaned and tended their wounds with our first-aid kits, that is, with water and rubbing alcohol, as well as with iodine. The wounds were mostly to the head as the ceiling most likely fell on their heads. Some wounds were as big as 1.5 cm wide and the skull was visible. They were very serious.

Currently there is much aid coming in but they are not at the level of distributing it. At our local level we haven’t seen any of the aid, nor have other local districts. I hear that the port is damaged and so it is taking a long time for them to come in. Also the airport is very small and so a limited number of planes can land.

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Jesuit Brother Jim Boynton Helping Injured At Port-au-Prince General Hospital

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Br Jim Boyton

Jesuit Brother Jim Boynton holds an IV while firefighter/EMT Jeff Lang assists a little girl with crushed toes in the background.

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National Jesuit News is urging people to give to the Jesuit organization Jesuit Refugee Service to help those in Haiti.

To support JRS/USA’s humanitarian response to the emergency needs of the Haitian people, please click here to be directed to their secure website and choose “Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.”

Or you may send a check to:

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
1016 16th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

Checks should be made payable to “Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.”
Please clearly note “Haiti Earthquake Relief” in the memo field on the check.