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NEW YORK: January 16, 2010
Statement by the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad†

It was with pain in my heart that I learned of the terrible catastrophe that has befallen the people of Haiti, and wish to express my profound empathy with the anguish felt by all the islandís occupants, and especially our brothers and sisters carrying on their service to God and man within the Orthodox Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. I pray for the repose of the souls of those who died during the earthquake, I pray for those who survived, that the Lord bless them with His consolation and heavenly aid. May the Lord bless the rescuers and all those who are going to that country with the aim of helping its occupants! †

Brothers and sisters, let us not forget that the poor and unfortunate are our joy, for they edify our character, and such tragedies give us the opportunity to be Christians not only in name, but in deed. Let us remember the words of the Gospel, how many images, parables and calls by the Lord in which He says that we must pray for each other, help and serve our neighbor. Much can be said about this, much can be understood, but the most important thing, my beloved, is to act and live in accordance with our faith. That is why I ask all of you, dear brother archpastors, reverend fathers, brothers and sisters, to help the Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in its effort to provide necessary aid to our brothers and sisters in Haiti. †

With love in the Lord and a plea for prayers,†

+Hilarion,
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.†

January 16, 2010