Message from the Archbishop of Montreal, Christian Lépine, following the earthquake in Haiti.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,

These last several days have brought into sad focus for us the earthquake that struck Haiti on Saturday, August 14. The people of that country are now facing a long aftermath piled upon those from other previous tragedies. We are called to stand in solidarity with the Haitian people, and we fervently declare that we in the Archdiocese of Montreal embrace them in our hearts.

In the territory of our diocese, we meet a great many men and women from Haiti who are part of our reality and of our lives. All of these people have numerous ties with family and friends in Haiti. Religious communities "from here" have a long history of being present and dedicated to Haiti in the health and educational fields, as well as in the country’s social life. Many aid organizations are involved in partnership projects on the ground, such as Development and Peace and Aid to the Church in Need.

On behalf of myself and this Archdiocese, I wish to express our deep attachment to the Haitian people and to all people of Haitian origin who are part of us, the People of God in Montreal. I want to communicate my most profound feelings of compassion for all those affected by this tragedy, as well as for their families.

Let us ask God for the strength to stand firm in prayer and to move forward together.

May Jesus Christ bring comfort to the hearts of the wounded, may He receive into his eternal Kingdom those who have perished and may He grant his Peace to all who have been affected, and also to those committed to working tirelessly on the front line.

+Christian Lépine