The Gospel this weekend addresses the fears and pain of the Jewish community after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD. Yet the message of Jesus is one of hope. These sentiments have been reechoed by Church leaders in The Philippines. Speaking to priests in Manila after the typhoon, Cardinal Tagle said: “Through our prayers and effective solidarity, the faith will rise stronger in the midst of ruins. The God who is love is near us.” Likewise, the Archbishop of Cebu, which is one of the islands most devastated by the typhoon, said: “no calamity or natural disaster can quench the fire of our hope”.
The Irish Bishops have agreed that the scheduled appeal in parishes this weekend (17 November 2013) should be shared with The Philippines, given the enormous tragedy that has befallen the country.
It is hoped that the appeal can generate as much support as possible in an effort to alleviate the plight of victims of the typhoon in The Philippines and the civil war in Syria.
The Columban Fathers from Dalgan Park have a long association with The Philippines while many parishes in the Diocese of Meath are now home to people from that devastated country.
Information note on Super Typhoon Haiyan, The Philippines
- The damage from Haiyan is catastrophic. The city of Tacloban in Leyte was particularly hard-hit, with widespread destruction and loss of life reported. Caritas Philippines estimate that over 10,000 people have been killed and 600,000 have been displaced from their homes. Tacloban city is without power, water and food.
- This is a major humanitarian crisis and Trócaire is responding with its Caritas partners – it has already committed €100,000 to support their work. Trocaire is also supporting the work of Irish missionaries in the affected regions. The International Caritas Network is putting together an international team to support the effort and a Trócaire staff member is part of that team.
Information note on Syria
Already people in the Diocese of Meath having been making possible the work of Trócaire which has been able to provide aid to 255,855 people in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Syria. The work of Trocaire includes the distribution of food, blankets, clothes, medicine and psycho-social support to people who have been forced to abandon their homes, as well as providing education to children who have been forced out of school. Trócaire will continue to work with its Caritas partners in the region to deliver this much-needed aid.
The suffering of the Syrian people is enormous. An estimated 4.25 million people are internally displaced in Syria, while more than 2.1 million have either registered as refugees or are waiting to register in the surrounding region