A blog about the Church in Latin America
Rebuilding Haiti—PROCHE Project Form
PROCHE, the Haitian Bishop’s organization to rebuild Church property in Haiti, has published the first version of its construction project submission form and has been distributing it to Haitian dioceses, parishes, and congregations for their use. The form is in French and collects basic information that will be used to approve and prioritize projects for study and execution. Since its initial release in early April 2011, six projects have been submitted and many more are expected in the coming weeks and months.
Important Information About Our Grant Process
Our Grant Program will be going on-line! It is our hope that this on-line process will make grant application and review more convenient and efficient for all of us.
This significant change in our program administration will require a period of transition. This period has begun and is scheduled to end on November 30, 2011. During this period of transition we cannot accept applications for pastoral purposes from parishes, communities, schools and dioceses. However we will continue to accept and review the following type of requests:
- Requests for the formation of seminarians, permanent deacons and religious men and women, and clergy.
- Requests that are presented with the approval of the individual National Episcopal Conferences.
To reiterate, we are only temporarily suspending our grant process for applicants at the community, parish, school and diocesan levels. We will begin accepting these requests once again at the end of November 2011 for activities that will be conducted in 2012. Requests for the formation of seminarians, clergy and religious men and women in 2011 will continued to be accepted.
We would like to assure all past and future grantees of our on-going commitment to and solidarity with the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean and hope that this new development makes such solidarity more concrete and more efficient. We will continue to accept applications by mail, fax and e-mail in the future but our hope is that this on-line process will quickly become the main way that requests for assistance are received and processed by our staff.
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-202-541-3050 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidelines for Cooperation and Partnership with the Church in Haiti
The Church in Haiti has taken several key steps in caring for the people impacted by the January 2010 earthquake and has laid the groundwork for a building and reconstruction program that will re-establish the necessary Church services and infrastructure for the people it has served.
Haiti Earthquake, One Year Later.
As we approach the anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, we join together with parishes, Catholic schools, youth groups, colleges and universities from across the country to remember the tragic events of that fateful afternoon and to respond in a faith-filled way.
We invite you and your group to pray and walk for nine days with other Catholics across the country using the Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas. Start praying it on the evening of the anniversary, January 12, culminating with the celebration of Mass on the weekend when the Collection for Latin America including Haiti takes place. You can find the novena and other anniversary resources here.
During a meeting of Church leaders in Miami, September 22-26, 2010, two important documents were finalized that set the overall direction of the pastoral rebuilding program of the Church in Haiti.
Vision for Rebuilding. The first is the Final Message issued by representatives from Haitiís global Church partners who have committed to remain in solidarity with Haiti as it seeks genuine and sustainable renewal.
Partners in Mission. The second important document entitled Partners in Mission contains the official position of the Haitian Bishops’ Conference regarding “twinning” relationships between Haiti and the Church around the world. It was drafted and finalized with the support of representatives of bishops’ conferences and Catholic aid agencies from around the world
Both documents will be presented to the full body of bishops at their upcoming plenary meeting in November.
Between July 29 and August 2, 2010, the Subcommittee was represented at a series of ecclesial celebrations in the Province of Cali, Colombia. Focused on the arrival of the new Archbishop of Cali, the solidarity visit by Bishop José Vasquez of Austin, Texas and Bishop Larry Silva, Diocese of Honolulu, enjoyed the triple celebration of the Colombian diocese of of Buga, Palmira and Cali. With over 50 bishops in attendance and many of the local parishes and groups represented, Bishops Silva and Vasquez brought good wishes to newly ordained bishop of Buga, a diocese which is also home to largest shrine in Colombia: . Bishop Edgar de Jesús García was installed as the new bishop of Palmira the following day after which Bishop Vasquez offered his own reflection on the atmosphere immediately after the mass:
On Sunday, Most Rev. Dario Monsalve was transferred from the diocese of Málaga-Soatá and became the co-adjutor Archbishop of Cali - one of Colombia’s historic ecclesiastical centers. Archbishop Monsalve was a frequent visitor to the United States as because of the presence of so many of his priests assigned to several U.S. dioceses, including the diocese of Bishop Vasquez in Austin, Texas. Málaga-Soatá has only 32 parishes in the diocese, yet it has an abundance of priestly vocations, allowing many of them to spend up to six years of their priestly ministry working in a U.S. diocese where their work particularly among the Latin-Hispanic community is vital.
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Bishops’ Subcommittee dedicated to administering money raised for Haiti after the earthquake there last January has approved $212,700 of funding for 10 projects. The grants were made from the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America to programs and agencies sponsored by parishes, religious orders and dioceses in Haiti. These grants do not include funding for construction projects, which will be considered according to a separate procedure.
Recovery in Haiti Continues
As a sign of the on-going solidarity and communion between the Church in the United States and the Church in Haiti, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick visit Haiti, June 15-17, 2010. As a Board Member of Catholic Relief Services and a member of the Committee on National Collections, the Cardinal visited CRS offices and staff, bringing the thanks and encouragement of the entire Catholic community. In addition, he visited CRS work among tens of thousands of Haitians displaced after the earthquake and who are currently living in camps. The Cardinal also visited St. Francis de Sales Hospital that was severely damaged after the quake yet remained a center of treatment and care throughout the devastation.
Shortly after arriving, the Cardinal headed to the grounds of the Haitian Bishops' Conference to pay his respects at the grave of Archbishop Serge Miot, whom he had known personally.
Offering a prayer for him, the Cardinal called upon the Lord's mercy for all those who tragically perished in the January 12th quake that claimed the lives of over 210,000 people.
Next to the graves stand a row of tents and temporary shelters that house 150 seminarians from all over Haiti. The National Seminary was totally destroyed in the quake. The Cardinal visited with them as they sat under trees or in the fields in the late afternoon, many of them studying for the final exams.
On a solemn note, the Cardinal visited the former National Seminary at Turgeau and is pictured amid the ruins where several seminarians lost their lives.
In a more formal setting, the Cardinal attended a gathering of many members of the Haitian Bishops' Conference as well as the newly-created "National Commission for Church Reconstruction" to discuss how to put mechanisms in place to carry out Church reconstruction in Haiti that will guarantee safety, transparency and accountability in the use of funds. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PANsOTgd7m0]
Also present was Fr. Desinord Jean, Director of the Catholic radio station, Radio Soleil. Fr. Jean was, himself, buried under a pile of rubble after the quake and had to be pulled to safety.
In one of its first acts of solidarity, the Subcommittee made an emergency grant of $27,150 to purchase new equipment. Within days the radio station - almost the only means of mass communication for Catholics in Haiti - was operating again, this time out of the back of van in downtown Port-au-Prince. The Archdiocese plans to construct a new studio for the Radio as well as the rapidly growing TV station, Tele Soleil, which the Collection will likely be called upon to support.
Haiti, Chile, Clergy Education Receive Grants From Bishops’ Subcommittee On Latin America
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America has made public the grantees and approved a total of $2,777,917 for distribution among 128 projects in 23 countries. Of that amount, $972,869 went to help rebuild the Church’s infrastructure in earthquake ravaged Haiti and Chile. Clergy and religious formation took up the bulk of the remaining awards, while other catechesis and evangelization projects in Central and South America, and the Caribbean also benefitted. To read more, please view the whole story here.
Haiti Advisory Group of the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America and engineers begin assessing ways to rebuild destroyed Haitian parishes.
To read the full CNS story, please click here.
USCCB Haiti Advisory Group visits Port-au-Prince March 1-3
A delegation of US bishops, including Cardenal Sean O'Malley of Boston, Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio and Haitian-born Bishop Guy Sansiracq, Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn, NY visited Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 1-3 to see firsthand the recovery efforts and to bring the love and concern of U.S. Catholics to their brothers and sisters in need. Read more . . .
USCCB Subcommittee on Church in Latin America Creates Haiti Advisory Group to Visit Haiti March 1-3
WASHINGTON-As part of the ongoing response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Archbishop José H. Gomez of San Antonio, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America, has created a Haiti Advisory Group to help assess the impact on the local Church. Haiti was hit by a 7.0 earthquake on January 12. (read more)
Father Andrew Small Interviews with Busted Halo on Rebuilding to Church in Haiti
Fr. Andrew Small Interviews with NPR to Discuss the Catholic Churches Work to Rebuild Haiti After Loss
The Catholic Church is trying to rebuild in Haiti after last month's devastating earthquake, which killed many of this Church members. Father Andrew Small works for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has already donated equipment and money to restart the Catholic radio station in Port-au-Prince. Host Michel Martin talks to the Catholic leader about rebuilding efforts. Click here to listen.
Reconnecting Haitians with the Church: Radio Soleil
One of the immediate concerns is the terrible sense of loss that people experience. Securing the basics for survival includes the sense of security for yourself and your family as you painfully piece life back together. Haitians have been in a similar place before, only not on such a massive scale.
Along with this loss comes a sense of isolation. On the first Sunday after the earthquake, we saw images of people attending mass amid the ruins of their former churches. They pray like the psalmist amid desolation and despair, turning to God as their only hope. Many Church personnel perished in the quake, dozens of priests and seminarians as well as many tens of religious sisters. Those left to tend to the spiritual needs of the people are themselves deeply traumatized not least by the loss of their chief pastor, Archbishop Serge Miot.
Contact and communication is vital at this stage. Coming together in prayer is a natural instinct for believers. One of the most reliable ways for Catholics in Haiti to stay in contact with each other and to received on-going faith formation was the network of Catholic radio stations operating in each diocese. The most developed was the Catholic station in Port-au-Prince, Radio Soleil. The transmitter, antenna and other equipment lie buried beneath the rubble. The station manages escaped miraculously. The local Church knows this vital means of communication needs to be reestablished so that people can stay connected to their church. The Director Fr. Jean, was pulled from the rubble and remains injured. He gets about on crutches. However, they have begun to operate out of a van in the Petionville district - still too afraid to begin broadcasting from inside a building.
Other religious groups are already broadcasting, sothe need to reach out to Catholics is an urgent one.
CLA has supported this effective form of communication in Haiti, helping to fund a specialist who could train local operators and technicians. We will immediately find ways to seek equipment in the Dominican Republic and have it sent to Port-au-Prince as soon as possible.
This is one of the many immediate pastoral needs that CLA will continue to monitor and respond to in a timely and effective way using our long-established connections with the local church.
A day with Bishop Wenski and Fr. Andrew Small in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
On Saturday, Jan. 23rd, just 10 days after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Bishop Wenski of the Diocese of Orlando and member of the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America and Fr. Andrew Small, OMI, Director for the Church in Latin America visited Haiti to survey the damage and attend a funeral. Please click here to see the videos and read about their experience. read more
ARCHBISHOP DOLAN TO REPRESENT U.S. BISHOPS AT FUNERAL OF HAITIAN ARCHBISHOP, WILL BE JOINED BY USCCB GENERAL SECRETARY
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, Chairman of the Board of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), will represent the U.S. Bishops at the Saturday, January 23, funeral of Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot in Port-au-Prince Haiti. Click here to read more.
Pastoral Outreach to Haiti
Oblate Father Andrew Small, Director of the USCCB Church in Latin America, spoke with Catholic News Service about the upcoming Collection for the Church in Latin America and its connection to the recent disaster in Haiti. Video courtesy of Catholic News Service, www.catholicnews.com. View story here.
Auxiliary Bishop Cisneros of Brooklyn interviews with the Diocese of Tegucigalpa
As a guest on the radio station's Sunday morning talk show, Bishop Cisneros was soon taking calls from around the country, mostly from people thanking him for his interest in Honduras. . . read more.
Bolivia's Base Ecclesial Communities
The Subcommittee for the Church in Latin America provided a grant of $10,000 to animate the Base Ecclesial Communities in the Archdiocese of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The goal of the project is to encourage the communities to live their vocation as part of the mission of the church so that they assume their responsibility to engage in evangelization in church and in society. The project contains a strong missionary focus. This is important given the activity directed by the government towards local grassroots and particularly poorer communities with the goal of marginalizing the role of the church in those communities.
The communities are located in the outskirts of Santa Cruz which is Bolivia’s principal industrial city. People from all over Bolivia flock there in search of work. The wind up in makeshift shacks in the rural outskirts where water and electricity is scarse.
Ministering to such a mobile community has its own set of challenges. Led by Brazilian priest, Fr. Leo Fiorin, a group of missionary sisters and priests from other countries in Latin America have developed a pastoral plan that makes use of small chrisitan communities where local leadership and organizational skill are a priority.
Church is Concrete Sign of Solidarity in Latin America
It has been just over a month since a tropical depression from Hurricane Ida dumped 12 inches of rain in four hours in central El Salvador. The rains caused floods and mudslides that claimed nearly 200 lives and destroyed some 2,000 homes.
Vatican Radio spoke with Fr. Andrew Small, the director for the Church in Latin American for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, who says that both faith and the work of the Catholic Church have significantly helped the victims of this disaster... Listen to the interview here!
The Blood of Martyrs
El Salvador still reels from years of civil war that remains as an open wound in the memory of the Church and Salvadoran society. During the recent visit to Salvador by a USCCB delegation led by Bishop John Manz of Chicago, there was a visit to the Central American Univeristy.
Bishop Manz visited the garden where six Jesuits were massacred in 1989 at the Central American University in San Salvador, El Salvador. In addition, their housekeeper and her daughter were also killed.
Museum of Salvadoran Martyrs
Recently opened is the museum in the same university that contains “relics” and stories of many religious men and women who suffered during Salvador’s brutal civil war and that has become something akin to a shrine to the selfless defenders of the poor and the marginalized. They include several U.S. missionaries.
One will be left . . .
St. Luke tells the startling tale of the coming of the Kingdom of God (Lk. 17) as appearing in lightnings which flashes and lights up the sky. Jesus reminds the Pharisees of the flood that came upon Noah and his people pointing to the need to be ready.
Floods swepts over a very defined part of the central part of El Salvador 7-8 November, 2009, killing approximately 200 people and devastating thousands of houses and small communities. A USCCB delegation visited the region in early December to see how the Collection for the Church in Latin America could help those who had suffered such tremendous loss.
In one four hour period, nearly a foot of rain was dumped on a well-defined area of central Salvador, sucked out of the force of the passing Hurrican Ida. More rain fell in those four hours than in the entire duration of Hurricane Mitch that devastated the country back in 1998.
The flow of water that poured down the volcanic mountains gathered pace as it washed away the top soil and began dislodging the massive boulders underneath creating a “lava” of water and rolling rock that swept away houses, walls, and most tragically many Salvadorans. The following video comes from the San Vicente department.
Joya Grande Mudslide and Devastation
Only a short drive back to San Salvador, the damage done to one of the many lakeside communities is obvious. For it’s great views of the largest lake in Salvador, the village is called Joya Grande or “Great Jewel.” You can see how the jewel was battered by rolling boulders and torrential rain.
USCCB Delegation to Visit Church in El Salvador in Wake of Tropical Storm
WASHINGTON-Following recent weather emergencies in El Salvador, Bishop John Manz, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Subcommittees on the Church in Latin America and the Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees, and Travelers, will visit El Salvador December 1-3. He will travel with Oblate Father Andrew Small, director for the Church in Latin America at the USCCB. They will visit local communities to see first-hand the impact of the flooding. They will also visit with Church leaders in affected areas of San Salvador, Cuscatlán y San Vicente, and La Libertad.