Episcopal Church marks second anniversary of Haiti earthquake

Posted Jan 11, 2012

[Office of Public Affairs] As the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti is marked on January 12, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori reflected, “We are all diminished by the reality of the situation in Haiti.”

The Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake devastated the Caribbean island country. Leveled were churches and diocesan facilities, including Holy Trinity Cathedral in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti is the largest in the Episcopal Church.

Since that time, the Episcopal Church has undertaken a focused effort on rebuilding the cathedral complex.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori issued a statement, and Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin of the Diocese of Haiti narrates a powerful video depicting the damage still evident in Port-Au-Prince as well as images of rebuilding.

Presiding bishop’s statement

In a statement on the second anniversary, Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori said:

The people of Haiti have suffered enormously in the aftermath of the earthquake in 2010.  At the same time, their creativity, faith, hope, and joy continue to lead them into a more gracious future. Yet we are all diminished by the reality of the situation in Haiti. Reconstruction has been painfully slow, funds promised by other nations have not yet been paid or paid in full, and many, many people still live in tents.

The Diocese of Haiti has been serving the people of Haiti with schools (with more than 250 of them back in operation a few short months after the earthquake), with medical facilities, and the beginnings of spiritual and cultural healing. The partnership of Episcopal Relief & Development has helped to provide shelter, clean water, and some employment. The Episcopal Church as a whole is partnering to help the Diocese of Haiti rebuild the cathedral complex in Port-au-Prince. Before the earthquake, that complex included not only the cathedral with its world famous murals (three have been conserved), but a music school and philharmonic orchestral, a vocational school, a convent, and diocesan offices. Partnerships have helped to provide necessary infrastructure for strategizing and planning the redevelopment work.

The Episcopal Church as a whole has had its heart expanded in the support and partnership with our sisters and brothers in Haiti.  I encourage you to continue your prayers, your active partnership in fundraising, and the solidarity that comes from learning about the situation and caring about the future. We all begin to experience more abundant life in caring for our neighbors.  I give thanks for the treasure that is Haiti, and urge the faithful accompaniment of the whole Episcopal Church with Haiti!

Video of Haiti
Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin of the Diocese of Haiti narrates a powerful video about the conditions in Haiti, images of rebuilding, and offers his thoughts and reflections on the second anniversary.  The striking video, featuring photographic images of the devastation, is located here.

Among the prayerful resources marking the anniversary are Psalms for Haiti, an ecumenical celebration of music and meditation to commemorate those who died, and support those struggling to rebuild in the aftermath of the earthquake. Psalms for Haiti are located here.

More information
For more information on the effort to rebuild Haiti, check here.