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Catholic Relief Services commits $5 million to Hurricane Matthew response in Haiti

BALTIMORE, Md.--Catholic Relief Services is committing an initial $5 million to help Haiti and other countries in the Caribbean recover from Hurricane Matthew, the powerful storm that has left hundreds dead and devastated communities in this nation still recovering from the earthquake that struck in 2010.
 
“Haiti in particular has once again been struck by a tragedy,” said Sean Callahan, CRS chief operating officer. “This commitment shows that we will continue to stand with its people, offering our hand in friendship to help and support them in this time of dire need.”
 
The funds will be used to continue and expand relief work that began even before Matthew hit on Oct. 4 as CRS staff pre-positioned supplies in areas where the storm was expected to make landfall.
 
Based on the most critical needs -- still being determined as teams are reaching areas cut off by the storm -- CRS’ response will include:
 
+ Emergency shelter materials: tarps, ropes and blankets and construction of temporary shelters using local materials that are cost-effective and easy to assemble.
+ Drinking water, hygiene kits, hand-washing stations to prevent diseases outbreak. The area is still reeling from a cholera outbreak in the months following the earthquake and there is a high-risk for another outbreak.
+ Cash to families to cover their most immediate needs.
+ Living supplies, including kitchen utensils and buckets.
 
CRS teams rode out the storm in towns like Les Cayes, Dame Marie and Jeremie on Haiti’s southwest peninsula that took the hardest hit. Once it passed, they immediately began assessing damage and distributing pre-positioned supplies to help residents recover from the 140-mph winds, storm surges and as much as 40 inches of rain.
 
“We have seen roofs blown off houses, damaged homes and waters flooding the streets, but we still don’t know the full scale of the damage. We will be doing all we can to reach the most affected areas as quickly as possible,” said Chris Bessey, CRS country representative in Haiti.
 
The $5 million represents an initial commitment to the recovery of Haiti, along with the Dominican Republic, Cuba and other countries affected. It will be augmented by more funds, from both public and private sources. Rebuilding destroyed homes and restoring lost agricultural fields are expected to take years.
 
High population density, severe deforestation and decaying infrastructure make Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, particularly vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.
 
It was a hurricane that first brought CRS to Haiti in 1954 when Hazel left widespread damage and more than 1,000 dead. The agency has been at work in the country ever since.
 
For information on How to Help CRS relief efforts from Hurricane Matthew, visit
crs.org.
 
 
 
  • Published in World

New College of St. Joseph Golf Team calls Green Mountain National Golf Course home

RUTLAND—The College of St. Joseph recently added its eighth intercollegiate varsity sport with the launch of men’s golf.
 
The team began USCAA Division II competition this fall. The addition of a golf program marks the second expansion of the Saints’ athletic offerings in the last year; women’s volleyball joining the athletic roster last fall.
 
Green Mountain National Golf Course will serve as the home course for practices and tournaments. Green Mountain National, located in nearby Killington, is an 18-hole municipal golf course that features panoramic views in a spectacular setting.
 
 “It’s one of the top golf courses in the state of Vermont,” said David Soucy, golf director and general manager at the course. “That will be a draw to some of the players, that they get the chance to play on a course that’s in great condition in a beautiful setting.”
 
CSJ Athletic Director Jeff Brown will coach the team for their first season before handing the reins to Soucy.
 
Soucy is an experienced golf professional who has served as general manager of the top-ranked golf course for 11 seasons. He also serves on the New England PGA board and is a past-president of the Vermont PGA. He is the recipient of multiple Professional of the Year honors by the Vermont PGA and has won more than 30 golfing events in Vermont.
 
“I’m excited that CSJ is committed to golf, and I’m looking forward to building a new program,” he said.
 
Green Mountain National and the Town of Killington will begin offering internships for CSJ students, both at the course running tournaments and helping to oversee daily operations, as well as through other town-led departments including Parks and Recreation and Events and Marketing. Soucy hopes that businesses in Killington will allow students into their establishments to develop their skills.
 
"There's the food and beverage aspect at Green Mountain National, then there's the golf side of it. As a municipal golf course, we also have the town of Killington and will be utilizing some interns there as well," he said. "We'd also like to see it expand to some of the businesses on the Access Road, as there's lots of hotels and restaurants up there. We thought it would be a good fit for CSJ interns."
 
  • Published in Diocesan

St. Michael’s College in top 100 U.S. liberal arts colleges

St. Michael's College in Colchester is once again among the top 100 National Liberal Arts Colleges in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report in its 2017 Best Colleges listings.

This year, St. Michael's is ranked at #99, behind only Holy Cross (#32) among Catholic colleges in the Northeast and is the fifth-best ranked among Catholic liberal arts colleges in the entire nation.

Factors that helped St. Michael's move up from last year to place again in the top 100 among national liberal arts colleges of all affiliations included excellent graduation rate, student-faculty ratio, the quality of incoming students and engagement of alumni along with other factors.

St. Michael’s President Jack Neuhauser commented on the improvement in ranking: “The faculty and staff at St. Michael's College quietly go about the day-to-day work of preparing our students for the economic, moral/spiritual and civic enterprises of the culture. It is heartening to see this translated into an improvement in our rankings. It serves as an affirmation of this good work and keeps us buoyed as we, like many other colleges on this list, face the continued challenges before us.”

Compared with Catholic colleges in its own region, St. Michael's places ahead of Stonehill College in Massachusetts (#108), St. Anselm in New Hampshire (#115) and Siena College in New York State (#122).

St. Michael’s also was listed in this year’s U.S. News rankings among “A-plus Schools for B Students.” Sarah Kelly, vice president for enrollment said, “I like the fact that we are also on the ‘A-plus schools for B students’ list because it underscores what we do best at St. Mike's. Our faculty members are passionate about teaching and mentoring their students and are wholly dedicated to their success. That is a palpable part of our community.” She noted that the list includes a number of competitive institutions that, like St. Michael's, transform good high school students into excellent college scholars.

The national liberal arts colleges in the 2017 U.S. News rankings guide -- both public and private -- emphasize undergraduate education. To be included, colleges must award at least 50 percent of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines such as languages and literature, biology, life sciences, philosophy, cultural studies and psychology.

According to U.S. News, its rankings, which group schools based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, have grown in the past two decades into the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities. 

St. Michael’s College, founded on principles of social justice and compassion, is a selective, fully residential Catholic college. Its closely connected community delivers internationally-respected liberal arts and graduate education. To prepare for fulfilling careers and meaningful lives, young adults grow intellectually, socially and morally, learning to be responsible for themselves, each other and their world.
 
 
  • Published in Diocesan
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