Presiding bishop calls for prayers, offerings for Diocese of Haiti

Jan. 12 marks earthquake anniversary

Posted Dec 11, 2013

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has asked The Episcopal Church to remember the Diocese of Haiti on the fourth anniversary of the earthquake on January 12.

“I urge all Episcopalians to pray and give in solidarity with our largest and fastest-growing diocese,” the Presiding Bishop said.

She continued, “I ask for your generosity in a special offering on Sunday, January 12 to aid the Diocese of Haiti in rebuilding Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince.”

On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck Haiti, killing more than 300,000 people, seriously injuring more than 250,000, and leaving 1.3 million homeless.  An extensive number of private and public buildings were destroyed including Holy Trinity Cathedral and the affiliated Episcopal institutions in the Cathedral Complex.

The Episcopal Church continues to respond to the needs that have arisen. Recently the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti announced the selection of Kerns Group Architects, P.C., of Arlington, VA, as architect of the new Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Features of the new cathedral include:
• Space for 1,200 with seating in a circular fashion around a central altar platform
• Designed to international earthquake and hurricane resistant standards.
• A central, massive dome that envelops the primary worship space
• Self-sufficiency by generating its own electricity, providing its own purified water and supplying its own telecommunications.
• Incorporation of historic features salvaged from the ruins, including 3 of the 14 world-famous murals depicting Biblical stories with Haitian characters.
• A hospitality/administrative area with meeting rooms, public restrooms and administrative offices clustered around a two-story atrium; these areas will be leased to generate additional income.

In addition to being a place of worship, the new Cathedral is expected to be, once again, a prominent center for the performing and visual arts.

The Presiding Bishop pointed out that the Executive Council “has been a faithful partner in the ongoing response.”

She noted that the fourth anniversary falls on the first Sunday of Epiphany, the day on which the Church celebrates the Baptism of Our Lord, which is depicted in one of the three surviving Cathedral murals.  (Photograph available here)

For more information contact Elizabeth Lowell,