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Local Catholics Travel to Haiti to Aid in Relief Efforts

In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti the local Catholic community is stepping up to aid both local parish members as well as victims in Haiti.

Father Fritzner Velcin is a Catholic priest serving the local Haitian community. He said there are about 2,000 Haitians in the local Catholic community - and as far as he knows at least ten have lost family members in the January 12th earthquake.

Many of them, Velcin said, have not been able to speak with family members because of a lack of phone service in the country.

He said nine local Catholics, seven Haitian, arrived in Haiti Monday to aid in relief efforts. Some will stay a week, others longer. Velcin said the local church is gathering donations.

"We're collecting everything, but the need now it's food water, medical supplies and all the stuff that people really, really need for now," he said.

Velcin said the church hopes to establish a base in Haiti to continue to help Haitians long after other organizations are gone.