20110107cnsbr04078A Haitian woman infected with cholera grimaces in pain at a clinic in Port-au-Prince Dec. 11. Haiti continues to reel from a series of disasters including a cholera epidemic that has claimed 3,650 lives since mid-October. (CNS photo/Kena Betancur, Reuters)WASHINGTON –– The one-year anniversary of the massive earthquake that affected a wide swath of Haiti gives Catholics an opportunity to stand in prayerful solidarity with the people of the impoverish Caribbean nation.

Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the Haiti Advisory Group of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America, invited Catholics to pray and reflect for nine days using the novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The novena starts on the evening of Jan. 12, the anniversary of the magnitude 7 quake, and ends with the celebration of Mass the weekend of Jan. 22-23, the date of the bishops’ annual collection for Latin America, which includes Haiti.

“Haiti and its people still very much need our prayers and solidarity,” Archbishop Wenski said in a statement. “As we approach the anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, we join together with parishes, Catholic schools, youth groups, colleges and universities from across the country to remember the tragic events of that fateful afternoon and to respond in a faith-filled way.”

In addition to the novena, other catechetical and reflection resources – including material from Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. Catholic Church’s overseas aid and development agency, which has an extensive aid effort in Haiti – is available at a new Web site: www.usccb.org/haiti/one-year-later.shtml.