The university has established a task force named “Hope for Haiti” to coordinate an organized pastoral and relief response to the Haitian earthquake. Members of the task force include students, faculty and staff from all areas of the university. Immediate financial collections will go to one or more of several organizations to which Loyola has a connection. These include, but are not limited to, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS), Partners in Health (Zanmi Lasante), Doctors Without Borders and Konbit Pou Edikasyon.
Students are leading the effort to host fundraising events while faculty and staff work to develop long-term connections with Haiti, including future immersion trips and partnerships with relief agencies established there. Special collections at all masses at Ignatius Chapel on campus this past weekend brought in over $3,000. Individual and group donations continue to pour in.
Hope for Haiti will be an on-going initiative to support the people of Haiti beyond the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. The university will be taking every opportunity to educate our students on the many economic, social and political issues that have helped to make this natural disaster even worse. Additionally, we hope to celebrate the vibrant cultural riches of Haiti and its people. With our own experience of loss and disaster from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita still very fresh in our minds, we understand the importance of making a long term commitment to Haiti’s recovery.
We have several current students, faculty and alumni from Haiti. We thank God that no one has yet reported the loss of any immediate family members. However, some have lost their homes, extended family members, neighbors and friends. Let us continue to keep the dying and suffering in Haiti in our thoughts, prayers and charitable efforts. Recovery will be long and painful.
God of creation, help us to remember that your love and care for the world are greater than any disaster. Despite our feelings of helplessness, let us be a source of hope to those who suffer by using the time, talent and treasure you give us in the best ways possible. Welcome those who have died into your eternal embrace. Let those who mourn know your comfort and peace.
-Kurt Bindewald, Director of University Ministry