Episcopal Church kicks off rebuilding campaign on anniversary of devastating Haitian earthquake
January 12, 2011, New York, NY -- On the first anniversary of the earthquake that destroyed Haiti, The Episcopal Church is inaugurating an international, church-wide fundraising campaign, Rebuild our Church in Haiti.
“Haitians today see the 2010 earthquake as the one -- and only one chance -- to build a new and better Haiti. If we help them rebuild, the world will also get a new and better Haiti, and we will all benefit —especially the United States.,” commented the Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon, Bishop in Charge for the Convocation of American Churches in Europe. “If we do not, the same old Haiti will continue to suffer, and us along with them.”
The Diocese of Haiti is the largest in The Episcopal Church. In just 35 seconds, the January 12, 2010 earthquake leveled the churches and diocesan facilities, including Holy Trinity Cathedral in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.
"While Cathedral Sainte Trinite was a structure of limited architectural significance, its murals placed the sacred space on the historic register of Haiti and made the Church a national treasure,” explained Kyle Evans, former missioner to the Diocese of Haiti and diocesan coordinator for Rebuild our Church in Haiti in the Diocese of Pennsylvania. “Tragically, these were destroyed in the earthquake. Rich in color and reflective of Haitian culture, these historic murals are an important reminder that we are truly one body in Christ.”
Also lost in the destruction of the Cathedral site were Holy Trinity Music School, Holy Trinity Professional School, and the primary and secondary schools.
The Rt. Rev. J. Zaché Duracin, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, leads nearly 200,000 Episcopalians in the Diocese of Haiti, who in turn provide education and healthcare to thousands of other Haitians through diocesan programs. Almost all the Episcopal facilities in the Diocese of Haiti were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake: the 200 parishes, congregations, missions and preaching stations including the Cathedral; the 254 nursery, primary and secondary schools; the university; the seminary; the community college; the three trade schools; the hospital and numerous medical missions; and St. Vincent’s Center for the Handicapped; and a Jubilee Center.
Rebuild Our Church in Haiti is the first step toward rebuilding the Diocese of Haiti. Before a new cathedral can be built, rubble must be cleared, land must be secured, and fragments of the murals must be salvaged. This campaign is designed so that all individuals, congregations, and dioceses can participate.
A special webpage has been prepared allowing easy access to information, facts, video, and ways to donate: www.EpiscopalChurch.org/HaitiAppeal. In the coming weeks, resources will be available on the website for dioceses and congregations to launch their own campaigns to support this appeal and begin to rebuild the spiritual home for thousands of Episcopalians. As the campaign progresses, stories from around the Church will be shared providing inspiration and ideas for local efforts.
Participating in the campaign
As the project gets underway, nearly half the dioceses in The Episcopal Church have begun organizing volunteers or otherwise making plans to participate:
Individuals can “buy a brick” for as little as $10 to begin to rebuild The Episcopal Church in Haiti.