Fr. Finigan posted this on his fine blog The Hermeneutic of Continuity. I reproduce part of it here.
I have received via email a report from Mgr John Dale, the National Director of Missio concerning the disaster in Haiti:
After the earthquake
Archbishop Bernadito Auza, Papal Nuncio to Haiti, only a few hours after the catastrophic earthquake, wrote:
‘I have just returned this morning. I found priests and nuns in the streets, without homes. The Rector of the seminary survived, as did the Dean of Studies, but the seminarians are under the rubble. Everywhere, you can hear cries from under the rubble. The CIFOR – Institute of Studies for the Men and Women Religious – has collapsed with the students inside, participating in a conference. The nunciature building has withstood the earthquake, without any injuries, but we are all amazed! So many things are broken, including the Tabernacle, but we are more fortunate than others. Many family members of the staff were killed, their homes destroyed. Everyone is calling for help. We will have problems of water and food before long. We cannot enter or stay inside the house much, as the earth continues to shake, so we are camped in the garden.’
‘Port-au-Prince is completely devastated. The Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Residence, all the great churches, all the seminaries are reduced to rubble. The pastor of the Cathedral, who survived the earthquake, told me that the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince perished under the rubble, along with hundreds of seminarians and priests who are under the rubble.’
As I write, the Vicar General, Fr Charles Benoit is still missing and nothing has been heard from Missio’s Haitian National Director, Fr Clarck de la Cruz.
Part of the heartbreaking reality of the Haiti earthquake is that many of those who would have offered their support to the shattered lives of the people of the island are themselves victims, an uncounted number also listed amongst the fatalities.
The overwhelming tragedy wrought by the few brief seconds of the earthquake’s duration is poignantly summarised by a photo taken in the rubble of the cathedral in Port-au-Prince: Jesus hangs on the Cross in the midst of his people.