US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Updates from the Claretians in the Philippines

By Elizabeth Lefebvre | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Images and reports of devastation from Typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines last week continue to pour in. By some estimates, rebuilding efforts to repair the total destruction could cost as much as $5.8 billion.

The Claretians have a large presence in the Philippines, one of the 63 countries where Claretian missionaries serve. Reports from the Claretians indicate that though there was damage to the novitiate in Ormoc, all 12 novices are safe – and the chapel where many took shelter remains intact.

Claretian Father Ephrem Campo Limpo, the provincial secretary, conveyed the following: “Times like this certainly makes us feel vulnerable and at the same time hurt by the loss of so many lives. The news reports say that more than 10 thousand people are dead, not counting the villages still cut off and isolated. I think it will take time to re-establish contact with them since there is no electricity and many properties were destroyed by the typhoon. Many places are still without electricity and communications….Pray for us and the Philippines.”

In a circular, superior general Josep M. Abella wrote: “I invite all -- communities, parishes, schools, provinces and delegations, etc. -- to make some gesture of solidarity with our brothers in the Philippines and to the people who are suffering as a result of the typhoon. I know that there will be a generous response. May the Lord bless your gestures of solidarity…. We entrust our brothers in the Philippines, and the people who are suffering because of the typhoon, to the Virgin's heart. I am sure that the Claretians in the Philippines will express to the people, especially to the families of our brothers who have been directly hit by the typhoon, our closeness and communion with them. Thank you all for your collaboration.”

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