School communities around the Archdiocese of Baltimore have been moved to act in the wake of the devastating Haitian earthquake.
Mount St. Joseph High School in Irvington held a day-long vigil in its chapel Jan. 15 and also allowed students to dress out of their normal uniforms for a fee. They were encouraged to give as much as possible and the proceeds went to a Xaverian Brothers international headquarters in Haiti.
An archdiocesan spokesperson said the school raised $13,000 throughout the day.
The order, which sponsors Mount St. Joseph, has had a presence in Haiti for the last 20 years.
Brother James M. Kelly, the school’s president, wrote a letter to the families of students telling them of the community’s plans.
“We have committed manpower and our financial resources to this, the poorest country in the western hemisphere,” Brother Kelly wrote. “Unfortunately, we have not heard from any of the young men at The Sant. The Sant is a residence for college students which we sponsor and support financially in the heart of Port-au-Prince. It apparently is in one of the neighborhoods that was completely devastated. Please pray that these young men are safe.”
Samantha Russell, a 2009 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, recently traveled to work in Haiti with the organization The Haitian Project. According to a university spokesperson, Russell’s family told the school that she was unharmed and had slept in a soccer stadium the first night after the earthquake. At the time of the tremors, she was estimated to be about 60 miles from the epicenter.
Baltimore’s Loyola University Maryland celebrated a Mass dedicated to the victims of the earthquake Jan. 14 at the school’s Alumni Memorial Chapel. A collection for the victims was taken at the Mass.
On Jan. 15, Loyola’s student-run radio station, WLOY, broadcasted live and hosted a Haitian relief fundraiser outside Loyola’s Student Center. The station collected donations to be sent to Catholic Relief Services and Jesuit Refugee Services to aid relief efforts currently taking place in Haiti. WLOY also raffled off prizes to donors at the event.