Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Eastern Washington Catholics contribute generous support to CRS efforts in Japan

the Inland Register

(From the July 21, 2011 edition of the Inland Register)

(Editor’s note: Spokane Catholic Charities has been forwarding donations to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to help with efforts in the aftermath of the March natural disasters to hit Japan.

Eastern Washington Catholics donated some $39,358.20 in assistance to CRS, the U.S. bishops’ overseas emergency relief and development agency.

The following June 30 press release from Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Vice President for U.S. Operations with CRS, gives more details about the work being accomplished there.)

As you know, millions of households were affected, with over 370,000 houses and other buildings destroyed. The government of Japan responded effectively to immediate needs, but some gaps still exist which Caritas Japan is filling.

Father Daisuke Narui, Secretary General of Caritas Japan explains: “Life is not easy for people evacuated from their houses. Our first priority is to make sure our activities last and we are there for the earthquake survivors for many years to come.

“Following the disaster, Caritas Japan sent teams to the four most affected dioceses (Sendai, Sap-poro, Saitama, and Tokyo), where they assessed the situation and provided people with blankets, food, water and psychological support,” said Father Narui. “At the same time, a number of local churches were mobilized to serve as volunteer hubs in Miyagi and Iwate. Volunteers responded by helping to remove rubble and offering support to those living in shelters.

“So far, over 1,100 volunteers have come to us from all over Japan,” he said. “We host them in parishes and then we send them to people’s houses and to the public shelters to help people.”

Caritas Japan recently said donations from CRS and other Caritas members will be used for long-term recovery. Caritas Japan’s long-term rehabilitation strategy will include activities such as temporary housing, assistance to vulnerable groups including those who are elderly or disabled and psychological care.

CRS will continue to support Caritas Japan for the long-term reconstruction of these devastated regions. No new funds are needed at this time to support the early reconstruction plan. CRS may also reach out to other partners in the Catholic community to offer support as needs are identified.

Thank you again for opening your hearts, directing your prayers and giving donations for the people of Japan. May God continue to bless you and your work.

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