New York (Fides Service) - The Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in the United States have opened their Solidarity Fund for the Church in Southeast Asia to include help for long-term rebuilding of the infrastructure of the Church in Pakistan following the earthquake there on October 8. “While social service and relief agencies, such as Catholic Relief Services and Caritas, will respond to the immediate and overwhelming needs of our suffering brothers and sisters there, as they did so heroically after the tsunami, we are offering the Church in that part of the world, through this Solidarity Fund, a way to rebuild in the future,” said Monsignor John E. Kozar, PMS national director.
The Pontifical Mission Societies established their Solidarity Fund in December 2004, immediately after the earthquake and resulting tsunami devastated Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India. “Then, as now, the Church in Pakistan and northern India will assess the damages and resulting needs,” Monsignor Kozar explained. “This Fund can provide the financial assistance to support rebuilding the infrastructure of the Church to continue to offer help and hope to the poor of those countries.” Above all, Monsignor Kozar stressed the need for continued prayers for the suffering. “We have sent word to our mission family of our profound concern and the promise of our prayers,” he said. “We ask God to sustain their country in these most dark and difficult days. We walk in solidarity
with them, sharing their suffering, for when one part of the Body of Christ suffers so do we all.”
Gifts already received for the Solidarity Fund have been slated to help the Church rebuild in
tsunami-affected areas; contributions for those areas are still being accepted. Moneys collected
now for the Fund will be apportioned to the areas affected by the October 8 earthquake, and those
gifts may be directed to: Pontifical Mission Societies, 366 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10001;
please specify: Solidarity Fund / Pakistan. (RG) (Agenzia Fides 13/10/2005, righe 18, parole 260)