Diocese of Norwich pilgrims catch the wave of excitement as Pope Francis drives by
on JFK Boulevard on route to the Festival of Families on Benjamin Franklin Parkway
in Philadelphia on Saturday, September 26.

Bike Riders Going Strong on "The Hope of the People"
By Adam Benson, The Bulletin

Norwich -Almost six years after a massive earthquake left Haiti in ruins, the task of rebuilding it remains an ongoing international effort.

And this week, a small path toward its return to grace cut through six New England states as part of a 339-mile bike ride and fundraiser by the Diocese of Norwich’s Outreach to Haiti ministry that started in Kittery, Maine.

“Haiti is a very important ministry for the Diocese of Norwich, and a lot of very good people are committed to this work,” the Most Rev. Michael R. Cote, Bishop of Norwich, said Thursday in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where he greeted Daniel O’Sullivan, the outreach office’s director of administration and programs, during a stop on the regional journey. “We ended up doing a lot for Haiti, but Haiti has done a lot for us. Haiti teaches us a great deal by the way they live and their faith, and it's a wonderful partnership.”

The diocese has maintained a presence in Haiti since 1985, and the heavily Christian nation saw 62 Catholic churches crumble in the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 220,000 people.

Officials are hoping to raise $350,000 through a capital campaign to consolidate services at the ministry’s Port-au-Prince headquarters and develop new initiatives such as employment opportunities, computer literacy training and other programs for residents.