catholic relief services

Church leaders offer prayers, Mexicans pitch in after earthquake

Rescuers searched for survivors in the debris of collapsed buildings Sept. 20 in Mexico City. The magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Sept. 19 to the southeast of the city, killing hundreds.

MEXICO CITY — Mexican Church leaders offered prayers and urged generosity after an earthquake struck the national capital and its environs, claiming more than 240 lives — including at least 20 children trapped in a collapsed school.

The magnitude 7.1 earthquake Sept. 19 added to the misery of Mexicans who suffered a magnitude 8.1 earthquake 12 days earlier. That quake left nearly 100 dead in the country's southern states and left thousands more homeless.

OUR GLOBAL FAMILY | Looking for opportunities to foster a culture of encounter

My friend Sister Maura worries about my travels to risky places for Catholic Relief Services. On the other hand, I marvel at how this soft-spoken and diminutive nun of 90 provides medical care in the toughest local neighborhood to which I have never traveled alone.

While CRS abides by strict security protocols, there is no greater "protection" than that offered by our local communities. Beneficiaries and staff know one another as people with names and families, quirks and humor, unspeakable losses and stubborn hope.

GUEST COLUMNIST | Rising with Christ in a broken world

Carolyn Woo

In my daily work at Catholic Relief Services, I routinely encounter suffering: the crisis of 60 million displaced people around the world, a number larger than those displaced in World War II; at least 50 million children not in school; human trafficking; slave labor; impending food shortage for a large number of Ethiopians; or the dry corridor in Central America with unpredictable bursts of torrential rain that eliminate growing seasons and sometimes wipe out complete plantings.

I generally plow on.

How to help Syrian refugees

Pope Francis and the Catholic bishops have called on the U.S. government and the international community to provide support to both Syrian refugees fleeing violence and to countries that have been at the forefront of this humanitarian effort.

Suggestions on how to help:

Donate to the collection at your parish

• Pray for migrants and refugees, for their plight and for peace.

Fresh quake rattles confidence of people, relief workers in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Nepal -- The second major earthquake in less than three weeks spread renewed fears and dented the confidence of people, said Church and charity workers.

"The death and devastation may be less, but the psychological impact is very high," Bishop Paul Simick of Nepal told Catholic News Service May 13. "They were slowly recovering from the shock and the trauma and (were) trying to restart (their lives). Now they have been stunned by this unprecedented quake."

CRS Rice Bowl -- following God's lead

The CRS Rice Bowl program asks people to prepare themselves to follow God's lead -- a fitting element of Lent.

CRS Rice Bowl is Catholic Relief Services' Lenten faith-in-action program for families and faith communities. Through CRS Rice Bowl, Catholics hear stories from people in need worldwide and devote Lenten prayers, fasting and gifts to change the lives of the poor.

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