BY JAWEED KALEEM
The Archdiocese of Miami says it will spend $1.57 million for ongoing relief in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, including medical support, church rebuilding and assistance to new Haitian immigrants in South Florida.
“We have seen what the needs are in Haiti, not just Port-au-Prince but all of Haiti, and we are working church-to-church,” Archbishop John C. Favalora said.
Among the plans: building a $300,000 permanent mission center in Haiti for priests and medical teams that have been traveling on rotations from Miami, a $200,000 scholarship fund for Haitian students and $400,000 in donations to 10 Haitian Catholic dioceses to assist in ministering to quake victims and refugees. “The strongest structural system that exists in Haiti is the church. The church becomes the natural place for all these assistances to be given,” Favalora said.
Three out of five Haitians are Roman Catholic and the Catholic church was one of the nation’s hardest hit institutions. Dozens of Port-au-Prince churches collapsed in the Jan. 12 earthquake, which also killed top church leadership.
Additionally, the archdiocese will spend $30,000 toward transporting priests between Miami and Haiti and purchasing religious and liturgical supplies, $100,000 toward Catholic orphanages and $138,000 toward a temporary mission base in Haiti.