Faith helps Filipinos face typhoon devastation

As Filipinos collect aid and take part in prayer vigils for victims, they have not lost hope after the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan.

Admin
Philippines
Nov 20 2013, 2:39 PM
Faith helps Filipinos face typhoon devastation

Prayers have helped people to support victims of Typhoon Haiyan, “In addition to organising humanitarian and economic aid,” said regional superior of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions Father Giovanni Re.

As Filipinos collect aid and take part in prayer vigils for victims, they have not lost hope after the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan.

"Last Friday, young people from different parishes held a vigil for the victims and expressed their spiritual closeness," the priest said.

Many of them have relatives and friends in the Visayas Islands where the typhoon hit. In the provinces of Leyte and Cebu, the Catholic religion is still the centre of community life and "it is in tragic moments like the one that we are experiencing that people seek solace in faith," he said.

Parishes held Sunday Mass in the areas affected by the disaster that cost 3,900 lives so far. About 300 people in Guiuan, the first town to be hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan, attended Sunday service in the courtyard of the ruined Immaculate Conception church.

Father Arturo Cablao spoke to AFP about the community's strength of spirit, as parishioners - some of them silently weeping - stood among twisted roofing sheets, glass shards and mud.

In Tacloban City, one of the most affected areas, hundreds of worshippers celebrated the Eucharist in the rubble of Santo Niño Church, sitting on benches still soaked with the water left by the typhoon.

Father Edwin Bacaltos, parish priest at the Redemptorist Church in Tacloban, noted that many of the faithful asked about the reasons of the disaster.

The clergyman said that he too had to struggle to make sense of the devastation and loss of life, but "This is not a punishment from God," he explained. "I told my parishioners that God still loves us and will not abandon us".

Source: AsiaNews

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