Archbishop Paul S. Coakley
Each time I have had the privilege of travelling as board chairman with Catholic Relief Services to one of the 93 countries where CRS serves, I have gained a deeper appreciation of the work CRS undertakes on behalf of Catholics in the United States.
Last week (Jan. 13-16), I was part of a small delegation to Haiti that included Dr. Carolyn Woo, CRS president and CEO, and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). While there, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of our CRS presence in Haiti and marked the fifth anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake that left so much destruction in this already impoverished country.
My takeaway from this trip has been a deeper appreciation of one of the distinctive ways in which CRS operates around the globe. Catholic Relief Services places great value on the quality and importance of its partnerships. It is through CRS partnerships with the local Church, other Church organizations, relief and development agencies and governments that CRS is able to have its greatest impact in enhancing human dignity, responding to natural disasters, promoting peace and justice, and building sustainable mechanisms for greater food security, healthcare and economic opportunities for families and communities.