Saturday, January 23, 2010

Some other ways to help

Church of the Resurrection, Biscayne Park, has put its request for help for Haiti right out front.

January 22, 2010

Our congregations are finding a variety of ways to collect funds to help the people of Haiti.

Several young people at All Angels, Miami Springs, set up a stand in their neighborhood on the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday to sell lemonade and brownies, and raised over $500.

The gift shop at Trinity Cathedral, Miami, is currently donating 20% of all sales to Haiti relief.

The choir at St. Thomas, Coral Gables, will present a concert on Feb. 21 at 3 p.m.; admission is free, but donations are requested for Red Cross efforts in Haiti, and a grant will match funds raised up to $10,000. Click here for more information.

St. David’s, Wellington, is partnering with Live Arts Florida to present a concert by Grammy-winning violinist Mark O’Connor on Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. in the WCHS Theatre on the campus of Wellington Community High School, 2101 Greenview Shores Blvd., Wellington. Profits from ticketing, parking and concessions will go to Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida for Haiti. Click here for information.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Message from the Crisis Commission, Diocese of Haiti

January 21, 2010

The picture above shows part of the tent city in Port-au-Prince where Bishop Jean Zaché Duraçin and many of the diocesan clergy are living and ministering to several thousand people who are no homeless after the earthquake. (Credit Jois Goursse Celestin/Episcopal Life Online)

Today Bishop Frade and Archdeacon Bazin received the message below from Fr. Frantz Casseus, who had been serving in our diocese, had just returned to serve in the Diocese of Haiti on the day before the earthquake. He has been appointed by Bishop Duracin to serve as a member of a diocesan Special Crisis Commission; the message he sends is from that commission.


January 21, 2010

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ

The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, Anglican Communion, is facing one of its worst catastrophes in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that occurred on January 12, 2010.

A special Crisis Commission established by the Bishop of Haiti, the Rt. Rev. J Zaché Duraçin, is working under his guidance to help manage this crisis.

Millions of people are now homeless. College St-Pierre, one of the best high schools in Port-au-Prince, is unfortunately completely destroyed, and its property is being used as an emergency shelter for approximately 3,000 displaced people coming from all over the capital without any consideration given to religion, creed and social class.

As a direct result of the earthquake, eighty-five (85%) percent of the Diocesan institutions have been destroyed or severely damaged: For instance, Léogane, one of our largest deaneries, sustained about 90% damage. The following institutions within the capital are destroyed:

The Bishop’s Court; Holy Trinity Cathedral; Holy Trinity Complex (Elementary, Music and Trade Schools; St-Margaret’s Convent; Foyer Notre Dame; Universite Episcopale d’Haiti; St Vincent Centre for Handicapped Children; St-Martin’s kindergarten,
Secondary school and rectory; Episcopal Theological Seminary.

In Léogane and the surroundings: Ste. Croix Secondary School; St. Mathias’ Church and institutions, Grande Colline; St-Etienne’s church, Buteau; St. Marc’s Church and institutions, Trouin; Annunciation Church’s Elementary and Trade School, Darbonne.

Among the severely damaged we count Church of the Ascension, Bainet, and St. Matthew’s Church in Matthieu, Léogane.

A complete list of [the condition of] all the institutions around the diocese will soon be published.

Emergency supplies such as food, medicine, water, transportation, generators and so on are urgently needed to care for the displaced.

The purpose of this note is to request your overall support, as well as specialized engineering assistance on a mid-term basis, in order to rebuild our institutions.

We thank you in advance for your daily prayers and your anticipated support in our time of need.

God is good all the time.

The Special Crisis Commission
Diocese of Haiti

Video of Bishop Duracin

January 21, 2010

The Wall Street Journal has posted an excellent video, including an interview with Bishop Duracin, about the work of the Diocese of Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake. Click here to view that.

There is also an article with more about Bishop Duracin and how the Episcopal church is ministering to survivors in Port-au-Prince.

We received a warning yesterday from the canon to the Presiding Bishop that fraudulent emails have been circulating, purporting to be from Bishop Duracin and asking for donations. Do not respond to any requests for aid unless you are sure that the sender is who he or she claims to be.
In our diocese donations are being collected through Episcopal Charities,, and will be disbursed at the direction of the Diocese of Haiti--which, as the video shows, may have lost many of its buildings, but is still carrying on its ministry.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Volunteers discouraged from traveling to Haiti

An important posting on the Haiti pages of the Episcopal Church website today:

January 19th, 2010

There are a number of inquiries about volunteering. Here’s the bottom line:

1. Episcopal Relief & Development discourages all volunteer travel to Haiti for the foreseeable future. The situation is very unstable and safety and security cannot be guaranteed.

2. The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti is fully occupied with ministering to its members and is not in a position to host volunteers at this time.

3. At some point in the future, Episcopal Relief & Development may consider organizing volunteers to go to Haiti. We will publicize those opportunities when and if it becomes appropriate.

4. In the meantime, please collect names of those who may be interested and hold on to them so that when the time is right and a call goes out, you can be in touch with people.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti updates--January 18, 2010

Today Bishop Frade was able to talk with Bishop Duracin, who, Frade said, “He wanted to make sure that you all knew how thankful he is for all of your efforts to help Haiti and our wounded church.” Our bishop’s message about his conversation with Bishop Duracin is posted on his posted on his blog.

Other links of interest today:

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s homily at the prayer service for Haiti last night at Washington National Cathedral;

A message from Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin of Haiti

A story from Episcopal News Service with more first-hand information from Bishop Duracin.

Finally, from the Dominican Development Group (the dioceses that share companion relationships with the Diocese of Dominican Republic), we have a report from Bishop William Skilton, retired bishop of South Carolina, now assistant bishop in DR, the mentions our own Fr. Smith Milien as part of a team that headed for Haiti on Saturday morning. Below are excerpts from Bishop Skilton’s report:

Friday was spent trying to help Water Missions International (a Charleston non-profit that builds simple water purification systems and sends then to areas of need.... How does one rent a 4 wheel vehicle to drive into Haiti? How do you coordinate the airport pick-up, lodging and trip... what needs are evident.... Well, the Lord was good and we did it.... so 3 folk were ready to go to the Haitian border at 6am this morning as part of a 3 car convoy.

We left at 6:00am... the WMI SUV, Fr. Smith Milien (Haitian, trained here, married a Dominican, works in Miami) with 3 others including doctors... 2 priests from Central Florida with longstanding Haitian work… 2 Bishops, our Vicar General and the Development officer and wife... for the diocese.... plus the Bishop's son.... It took us 6 hrs to get to Jimani & the border....stopping twice to get containers filled with diesel and water to take...

While in JIMANI, we met with our young Priest as he spoke of the community responding to the injured being brought in and the needs that were evident. The quake took place on Tuesday... and international relief has not been distributed... water is not to be found....

We visited the small hospital in Jimaní and all those going into Haiti were given tetanus shots... we were all instructed to wear protective masks as we walked some of the halls...

It took us 5 hours to make it back to Santo Domingo....with some rain cooling us down....

There is no doubt in my mind that the Dominican Republic and our church have the responsibility of providing “the pipeline" to get the help that is needed into Haiti. We share a border and need to continue to help responding to this catastrophe....

Some of you have asked.... What can I do.... PRAY.

There are a number of relief agencies that do good work... Support them. We are blessed and need to give from our abundance.... There are church related ones and secular ones.... just respond... they need your help…

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Helping Haiti

Janaury 16, 2010

On Jan. 12, only a few hours after the catastrophic 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti, Bishop Leo Frade issued an appeal to the diocese “to respond to this crisis in a country that needs our prayers and help.”


The bishop has asked that donations be directed to Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida; contributions can be made online at, or checks can be mailed to: Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida, 8895 North Military Trail #205C, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410. Funds will be distributed through—or at the direction of—the Diocese of Haiti, as soon as Bishop Frade is able to contact Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin to determine what will be most helpful.


Bishop Duracin is unharmed, but his wife, Marie-Edith, has a broken leg. Their home was destroyed, as were the Cathédrale Sainte Trinité, the cathedral complex (including a school), the College St. Pierre, and the convent of the Sisters of St. Margaret.

Information from Haiti, including items from across the country on missionaries, church responses and persons in Haiti, is constantly being updated by The Episcopal Church Office of Communication at a new webpage.

Last night, Jan. 15, Fr. Smith Milien, priest-in-charge at St. Paul et les Martyrs d’Haiti, Miami, left for the Dominican Republic, where he is joining with Bishop Julio Holguin and a group from our companion Diocese of Dominican Republic today to drive to Port-au-Prince to meet with Bishop Duracin, assess the situation and offer assistance.

Several of our congregations are already partnering with other organizations and community groups or individuals to collect relief supplies, and the diocese will be setting up several drop-off locations for supplies, as soon as we have specific information on (1) what is most needed, and (2) how these goods can be most efficiently transported and effectively distributed.


In the words of our bishop, in his Jan. 12 appeal: “While we wait for more details of how we can help, let us surround the people of Haiti—and their anxious family members in our midst—with our prayers.”

There will be a diocesan Eucharist for Haiti on Jan. 23, at 4:30 p.m., at Holy Sacrament, 2801 N. University Dr., Pembroke Pines. Bishop Frade will be celebrant and preacher, and the Haitian clergy of the diocese will concelebrate. This is a time for us to come together to mourn with those who mourn, to commit ourselves to give whatever aid and support we can, and to be in solidarity with our Haitian sisters and brothers in our own diocesan family and our communities, as well as the people of Haiti.

In addition to your own personal prayers, you may find these helpful:

A litany by Fr. William “Chip” Stokes;

A prayer by Bishop Jeffery Rowthorn;

A prayer from Washington National Cathedral;

And here’s a prayer written by Archdeacon Fritz Bazin:

A Prayer for Haiti

Almighty Father, God of mercies and giver of comfort, deal graciously, we pray, with the people of Haiti in the midst of the great suffering caused by the catastrophic earthquake. May they cast all their care on you and know the consolation of your love.

Give us the courage, zeal, wisdom and patience to assist them, not only in these first days and weeks of urgent need, but as they continue to need the care and partnership of all their sisters and brothers around the world in the long and difficult work of healing and rebuilding.

Grant eternal life to those who have died, healing to the injured and strength to all the survivors, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

The Ven. Dr. J. Fritz Bazin
Archdeacon for Immigration and Social Concerns
Diocese of Southeast Florida