Diocese of Meath donates $100,000 to victims of tsunami disaster

07 Jan 2005





On behalf of the Diocese of Meath, Bishop Michael Smith today announced a
special donation of US$100,000 to the people afflicted by the tsunami disaster
in Southeast Asia. This money is in addition to the nationwide collection
that is being undertaken by Trócaire, the agency of the Irish Bishops’
Conference dedicated to overseas development.

Bishop Smith said, “On this ‘Day of Solidarity’ with the people of Southeast
Asia, I am delighted to announce that the Diocese of Meath is making a
special donation of US$100,000 for the people affected by the tsunami
disaster. It will be given to the Papal Nuncio in Thailand, Archbishop
Salvatore Pennacchio.

“Archbishop Pennacchio was a frequent visitor to the Diocese of Meath during
his time as Counsellor at the Apostolic Nunciature in Dublin between 1994
until 1998. We have maintained strong links with him ever since.”

Bishop Smith continued, “Archbishop Pennacchio now serves as the Holy
Father’s representative in Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and Malaysia and,
in this capacity, he is working closely with the churches, religious
communities and ‘Caritas’ (Vatican Relief Programme) on the ground.
Yesterday Archbishop Pennacchio visited Myanmar (Burma) to meet the
bishops there. Unfortunately, this country has had very little
independent foreign assessment to date of its post-tsunami needs.

“Father Oliver Devine, a priest from this diocese, is visiting Thailand
on his way to Australia and he will meet with Archbishop Pennacchio on
his return from Myanmur (Burma) tomorrow. Father Devine will use this
opportunity to present the US$100,000 cheque on behalf of the people
of the Diocese of Meath.”

Bishop Smith concluded, “This donation is part of the returns to the
Bishop’s Appeal from the parishes of Navan, Mullingar, Kells and Ratoath.
Considerably more is expected to follow from the remaining 65 parishes
of the diocese in the days ahead.”


* Dr Michael Smith is Bishop of Meath. Bishop Smith is a member of the
Irish Bishop Conferences’ Department of Planning and Communications, its
Finance and General Purposes Committee and St Patrick’s College Maynooth
Development Committee.

* Details on the Diocese of Meath: Parishes: 69; Catholic Population:
212,858; Catholic Churches: 149; Patron of the diocese: St Finian.

Further information:
Martin Long, Director Catholic Communications Office, 086 17 27 678.
Fr Paul Crosbie, Meath Diocesan Secretary 087 9299 388.