Supporting the Survivors of the New Zealand Earthquake

Our brothers and sisters in New Zealand are in our prayers after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck near Christchurch on February 22. Government officials have confirmed that at least 75 people are dead and many more are still trapped in the rubble.

You can help Catholic Relief Services support the relief efforts of our sister agency, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand. Caritas funds will support the St Vincent de Paul Society, Catholic Social Services and other agencies to respond to immediate needs, as well as provide long-term recovery and assistance to those affected by this disaster.

Caritas noted that it does not normally respond directly to emergencies within New Zealand, but the scale of the disaster requires an exceptional response, and they will assist agencies facing needs on the ground.

For updates on Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand’s response to this emergency, please visit their website.

Pope Benedict XVI made the following statement about suffering and loss of life caused by the New Zealand earthquake:

VATICAN CITY, 23 FEB 2011 (VIS) – During today’s general audience, the Pope recalled how “a new and powerful earthquake, even more devastating than the one last September, has struck the city of Christchurch, in New Zealand, causing considerable loss of life and the disappearance of many people, to say nothing of the damage to buildings.

“At this time,” the Holy Father added, “my thoughts turn especially to the people there who are being severely tested by this tragedy. Let us ask God to relieve their suffering and to support all who are involved in the rescue operations. I also ask you to join me in praying for all who have lost their lives.”

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