Local Catholics work to help Haiti - Catholic Courier

Local Catholics work to help Haiti

Danielle Lazzaro, a member of Pittsford’s Church of the Transfiguration, is heavily involved with the North Carolina-based Hope for Haiti Foundation and had been planning to depart Jan. 30 for a mission trip to the impoverished country. The Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated the nation’s capital city, Port-au-Prince, skewed Lazzaro’s plan, but it has brought to her attention the number of local people who either already were involved in efforts to help the Haitian people or recently have become involved in relief efforts. Lazzaro, who also is a volunteer manager at Rochester’s Catholic Family Center, is interested in networking with these people, and asks anyone interested to e-mail her at daniellelaz@yahoo.com.

Lazzaro is one of many individuals, parishes and agencies in the Diocese of Rochester that have become involved in relief efforts to help the Haitian people. Below are some of the endeavors the Catholic Courier has received information about:

  • Bishop Matthew H. Clark requested that all parishes in the diocese take up a special collection at weekend Masses Jan. 16-17, with the proceeds to be sent to aid Catholic Relief Services’ relief efforts in Haiti. On Jan. 27 diocesan spokesman Doug Mandelaro announced that, with only about half of the diocesan faith communities reporting, the collection already had netted nearly $190,000.

  • Members of Rochester’s St. Mary Parish donated $2,919.70 to this collection, according to Anne-Marie Brogan, pastoral administrator. Two of the parish’s youngsters, Natalie and Eileen Weckesser, crafted beadwork angel pins and sold them after Masses Jan. 16-17. Their efforts raised $306 for the Haiti collection.

  • Members of Fairport’s Church of the Assumption raised more than $12,500 for the Jan. 15-16 collection. Nearly $500 of that total came from the proceeds of the weekend’s Catholic Youth Organization basketball games. The parish also planned to hold another second collection for Haiti relief efforts the weekend of Jan. 23-24, as well as a benefit concert Feb. 6 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The concert will feature classical and Christian music from Christian and Kim Bautista, Neil Reyes and Caroline Palser.

  • Students at Rochester’s McQuaid Jesuit High School took up a special collection during homeroom on Jan. 15 and raised $6,100. The donations will support the Jesuit Refugee Service’s recovery efforts in Haiti.

  • Students at St. Michael School in Penn Yan raised more than $700 in a January loose-change collection. The collection originally was intended to raise funds for the school, but the students decided to send the money to Catholic Relief Services’ relief efforts in Haiti.

  • St. Louis School in Pittsford raised $3,026 for earthquake victims through a dress-down day Jan. 22. Students who donated at least $1 were allowed to wear casual clothes instead of their school uniforms. That day, the second-grade class also raised $389 for earthquake victims through a bake sale. Proceeds from both events will be sent to Our Little Brothers and Sisters Orphanage outside Port-au-Prince. Robert McNamara, a member of St. Louis Parish, has been to Haiti several times and helps raise funds for the orphanage through New York Friends of the Orphans. St. Louis Parish has coordinated efforts with other Monroe County parishes to raise money for Friends of the Orphans’ Haiti ministries.

  • St. Paul Parish in Webster planned to hold a Jan. 30 benefit concert to aid Haitian relief efforts. Musicians from the parish’s music ministry were to perform, and free-will donations were to be accepted.

  • Deacon Kevin Carges of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Geneva traveled to Haiti in July through the Food for the Poor program. He was involved in several efforts to help the Haitian people and hopes to coordinate several more efforts. More information on how to help the Haitian people may be found on his Web site, www.deaconkevin.org.

  • Leah Gacioch, a member of Pittsford’s Church of the Transfiguration, serves as executive director of InterVol, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing local hospitals and medical professionals together with people and care-giving organizations in countries of need, and to recovering and redistributing medical supplies to those people. Her organization sent a team of volunteer medical professionals and supplies to Haiti Jan. 21.

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