MANILA, Nov. 14, 2013– As thousands of typhoon victims are suffering from the government’s slow relief effort, a church official said that blaming each other “will just increase damage and add to confusion”.
“Let us celebrate what is right. Let us do what is right, the right that we can do no matter how small. Let us not allow the magnitude to overwhelm us. Feed one by one. Help one at a time,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan said.
The incoming president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said the government, non-government organizations and communication companies, and other concerned agencies cannot do the relief and rehabilitation alone.
“We need to help one another. Those who want to help must help together,” Villegas said.
“This is the time for charity, urgent charity. This is the time for lighting our small little candles together to fight the darkness and gloom. This is the time to spread inspiration, to dig for more hope and to send off more positive vibes in the air,” he said.
Villegas also encouraged every church group or religious association to directly adopt one parish community in the Diocese of Borongan. There are 32 parishes that may be adopted as sister communities.
The Archdiocese of Palo in Leyte also has 64 parishes. “We can adopt one parish and directly help them with relief now and rehabilitation later on,” he said.
In the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan, the archdiocese has established links with Saint Mary’s College in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
All our relief goods will be repacked and dispatched by the Religious of the Virgin Mary in Guiuan.
“Hunger and sickness cannot wait. Do not wait for government. We must open all possibilities rather than get stuck at dead ends or roadblocks or broken bridges. We must be aggressive and creative in sending charity,” he added.
Moment of silence
On Nov. 23, at 6:00 p.m., the CBCP official invites the faithful to call for a national three-minute of silence all over the nation.
“Let us pause. Pray for the dead. Pray for the living. Atone for our sins. Commit to give. Promise before God to help Samar and Leyte rise up,” Villegas said.
“Spread the prayer appeal,” he said. “It has been so long since we last prayed as a nation. Let this calamity wake us up to the truth that the city of man is weak and passing.”
“Prayer works. We cannot rebuild our nation without God. We cannot rebuild without prayer,” said Villegas. (CBCPNews)