Bishop Jaime Soto mourns sons of Redding family lost in Ethiopian Airlines crash

We mourn the loss of lives from the tragic crash of the Ethiopian Airline on Sunday, March 10th.

Among those who died in the crash was Melvin and Bennett Riffel, the sons of Ike and Susan Riffel. Susan is a dedicated parish co-worker at St. Joseph Parish, Redding, California. This is a heartbreaking loss for her family and all the Redding community.

We pray the Lord Jesus, the Good Shepherd, may lead them to paradise and extend His tender mercy to comfort the entire Riffel Family.

Also, among the passengers who died were four members of US Catholic Relief Services working in the region: Sara Chalachew, Getnet Alemayehu, Sintayehu Aymeku, and Mulusew Alemu.

Grant to them eternal life, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them.

President of U.S. Bishops’ sends letter to Chairman of Catholic Relief Services following deadly plane crash

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has sent a letter to the Most Reverend Gregory John Mansour, Bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, following the tragic plane crash yesterday. Bishop Mansour serves as the chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services. Of the 157 lives lost, four were employees of Catholic Relief Services.

The full letter is below:

Dear Bishop Mansour,

It was with great sadness that I learned of the deaths of four of our esteemed colleagues from Catholic Relief Services who were on the airplane that crashed on Sunday, March 10, 2019.

I, along with my brother bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, join together with the entire CRS family, especially CRS Ethiopia and our EARO colleagues, in mourning the tragic loss of Sara Chalachew, Getnet Alemayehu, Sintayehu Aymeku, and Mulusew Alemu. Their service to the poor and their accompaniment of the marginalized stand as a great witness to Christ and His love for us all.

Please know that I have asked all our brother bishops here in the United States to pray for the repose of the souls of Sara, Getnet, Sintayehu, and Mulusew, and we will especially do so at the upcoming meeting of the USCCB Administrative Committee this week. May the consolation of the Savior’s embrace be now a source of comfort to their loved ones and co-workers on this difficult and painful day.

United in prayer and vigil for the Risen Lord, I remain,

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops