MANILA, Nov. 18, 2013—Catholic Bishops’ Conferences in various countries sent prayers and donations for victims of typhoon ‘Yolanda’ that hit Central Philippines more than a week ago.
In different messages sent to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the presidents of bishop conferences expressed sadness on the devastation caused by the typhoon on Central Philippines and assured the Filipino people of their prayers and solidarity.
“We are extremely saddened and painful to hear once again that, after the typhoon Nari and the earthquake a couple of weeks ago, now the super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) has battered and flattened several towns in Central Philippines and has left in its wake massive destruction and loss of lie. Faithful members in Vietnam would like to share with you in the nationwide nine-day of prayer offered for the dead and the grieving families they left behind,” a letter from Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc, the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam read.
CBC Vietnam also expressed its concrete heartfelt solidarity with all those affected through a donation of USD 50,000 which was given to Caritas Vietnam and sent to Caritas Manila.
“On behalf of bishops in CBC Vietnam and the people of God in Vietnam, joined with some many others’ prayers in the world, we trust victims to the merciful hands of Our Heavenly Father and send our condolences to the to the Filipinos who are greatly affected by the typhoon,” the archbishop added.
The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) also conveyed to the CBCP its assurance of prayers for the Filipino people “at this troubled time as the people of the Philippines face such a severe crisis.”
“We will call on all Catholics in our countries of Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland to pray for you and to respond to this humanitarian disaster in solidarity with those affected by the typhoon,” said Archbishop Stephen Brislin, President of SACBC.
“It is clear that once the immediate needs of people have been catered for, there will be a long and arduous process of rebuilding not only of infrastructures but the lives of people, as they come to grips with what has happened. We know that the people of the Philippines will respond to that challenge with courage and determination,” Brislin added.
Meanwhile, the German Bishops expressed their heartfelt and sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims and to those injured, as well as their condolences to the entire Philippine Church.
“I have addressed the German Catholics and asked them to pray and to concretely help the survivors who urgently need the solidarity of the international community in the current situation. Let me assure you that our Church relief organizations will do their utmost to alleviate the hardship of the people living in the regions affected by the disaster,” said Archbishop Dr Robert Zollitsch, Chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference.
The Canadian Bishops on the other hand are united with the Holy Father, Pope Francis, in inviting all people to silent and public prayer for the many who lost their lives and for all who are in such pain at this time.
“As president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (CCCB), I know I speak on behalf of all my fellow Canadian Bishops when I assure each and every one of you of our prayers and thoughts at this trying time of national emergency,” Archbishop Paul-André Durocher, archbishop of Gatineau and CCCB president.
“We are united with the many emergency workers and volunteers who are involved in helping those who are most in need; the injured, the homeless, the bereaved. We are united to you as you reach out in generosity and compassion in serving the great pastoral needs of your people,” he added.
“As you know, many of your family and friends live in Canada. Their pain is particularly evident, especially as they await news of their loved one. They also are not forgotten by us and we pledge our care and outreach to them,” the archbishop furthered.
Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) devastated Central Philippines November 8, 2013 killing thousands of people and displacing thousands more.
Yolanda is the second-deadliest typhoon that hit the country based on record. (Jandel Posion)