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Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan Overwhelmed with Parishoners'
Generosity to Assist Tsunami Disaster Victims (Over $115,000 and Growing)

ALBUQUERQUE- Monday, January 10, 2005- IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan is overwhelmed with the quick response and generosity of the parishioners throughout the Archdiocese to his call for assistance for the Tsunami Disaster victims. Over $115,000 dollars have already been received from Archdiocese of Santa Fe parishes. Pastors have informed the Archbishop’s Office that more funds are on their way. All monies are being forwarded to Catholic Relief Services for disbursement. Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian organization of the U.S. Catholic community, provides assistance to people in 99 countries and territories based on need, regardless of race, creed or nationality.

In a letter sent to each of the Archdiocese’s 93 parishes, Archbishop Sheehan requested that pastors take up a special collection on the weekend of January 1 for the needs of the victims suffering from the horrific devastation caused by the massive tidal wave in Sri Lanka and other areas of Asia. Due to the tremendous need, parishioners requested another opportunity to donate this last weekend.

Archbishop Sheehan asked that he continued to be joined in prayer that “the nations of the world will continue to unite to alleviate the traumatic suffering of our brothers and sisters affected by this staggering quirk of nature.” At the time of his call for assistance, 65.000 lives had been lost; today, the estimation is over 140,000.

Tomorrow, January 11
, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, is scheduled to meet with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) President Ken Hackett, Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo. The meetings will address the ongoing humanitarian assistance in response to the Dec. 26th tsunami, and the long-term role that CRS and the Catholic Church will play in the country’s rebuilding efforts.

Information about Cardinal McCarrick’s Visit:
From Jan. 10 - 14, Hackett and Cardinal McCarrick will visit some of the most devastated regions and CRS relief efforts taking place along the southern and eastern coasts of Sri Lanka. Working with local partners, CRS is focusing its humanitarian assistance on water and sanitation, the construction of temporary shelter, distribution of food and family kits (including clothing, utensils, blankets and sanitary items) and training for trauma counseling and psychosocial support. CRS is providing similar emergency and long-term rehabilitation support in India, Indonesia and Thailand.
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To contribute to CRS tsunami relief efforts, send donations designated Tsunami Emergency Fund to your local parish or:

Catholic Relief Services
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, MD 21203-7090