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Haiti logoBishop Ohl Challenges the Diocese of Fort Worth to help "Rebuild Our Church in Haiti"

At the January 29, 2011, meeting of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, Bishop Wallis Ohl issued a challenge.

"I am challenging our diocese to raise $11,000 by Ash Wednesday [March 9] to help in the rebuilding of the Cathedral Center in Haiti," he said.

The Executive Council responded enthusiastically, immediately voting to give $1,000 toward that effort out of funds allocated for mission work outside the diocese.

Bishop Ohl explained that Haiti is the largest diocese in The Episcopal Church, with more than 100,000 Episcopalians. Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin and the people of Haiti have asked for our help. The Episcopal Church, acting through the church's Executive Council, has asked every Episcopal diocese and congregation to join in this initial phase of rebuilding the Diocese of Haiti.

For The Bishop's Challenge, checks should be made out to The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, with "Haiti" in the memo. The diocese will forward the money to The Episcopal Church Foundation, which is serving as the administrator of donations for the Rebuild Our Church in Haiti fund.

As part of the rebuilding effort, baskets will be available for donations at the Feb. 15 Evening of Reflection and Conversation with the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church. The funds will be given in honor of Bishop Katharine for the Rebuild Our Church in Haiti effort.

The Rebuild Our Church in Haiti effort is in addition to, not instead of, the fine work Episcopal Relief and Development is doing in Haiti. (This diocese has raised nearly $30,000 for ERD's work in Haiti, which is among the highest level of per capita giving in The Episcopal Church.)

In Haiti many of the services we expect from the government—healthcare, education, culture—are provided by The Episcopal Church. Many governmental agencies and NGOs have rushed to fill these needs in the aftermath of the earthquake. Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Church in Haiti to provide short-term employment, provisional homes, and sanitation systems in addition to other community-focused recovery programs. The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund sponsored mobile health clinics, and a United Nations fund has underwritten the clean-up of six neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince.

But there is one thing no one else can rebuild for The Episcopal Church -- Holy Trinity Cathedral and the Cathedral complex.

The Cathedral, home of the famous murals that depicted the Biblical narrative, was a beacon in a land where strength of faith is inversely proportional to economic development. As the site of Holy Trinity Music School, t he Cathedral trained a touring choir and the nation's only symphony orchestra, providing both cultural development and income. Holy Trinity Professional School and the primary and secondary schools, also located on the Cathedral grounds, all raised up future leaders in an environment of cultural and spiritual grace. In 35 seconds, the earthquake reduced it all to rubble.

To learn more and to see photos of the destruction of the Cathedral, visit:

To download posters, brochures, etc. visit:

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