Palo prelate meets priests as ‘Ruby’ approaches

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TACLOBAN City, Dec. 5, 2014– Archbishop John Du met priests of the Archdiocese of Palo today to map out the local church’s plan of action with super typhoon Ruby now in the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

He called on all parishes to mobilize their social action commissions and on all the residents to pray the Oratio Imperata for deliverance from calamities, have a holy hour or if possible have a vigil in the parishes.

Palo Archbishop John Du meets the priests in the Archdiocese of Palo to map out measures in anticipation of the onslaught of Typhoon Ruby in Eastern Visayas. (Photo: Fr. Isagani Petilos)

“The Archbishop urged all the priests to guide all the faithful to be spiritually prepared, making them calm and assuring them that God is with us in this time of need,” said Fr. Amadeo Alvero, the spokesman of the archdiocese.

Grassroots level preparations

The St. John the Evangelist School of Theology started reciting a personal prayer for safety and protection, in the meantime that the archdiocese has yet to formally release an Oratio, according to SJEST rector Fr. Oscar Florencio.

He added that they have come up with some emergency measures, asking the seminarians to make contingency plans and list them according to priority.

SJEST and the Sacred Heart School were two seminaries in Palo that were severely destroyed in the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda last year. Pope Francis stressed the importance of the quick rehabilitation of these two seminaries.

Alvero also added that the prelate mandated all parishes to prepare for immediate response to the needs before, during and right after the typhoon, “allowing the priests to use the parish general fund to buy all the stuff needed for emergency.”

According to Alvero, Du wants all the priests to be present in their respective parish inspiring the people to show mercy and compassion during this time of need.

“He assured all the priests and the faithful that the archbishop and the archdiocese will there ready to extend assistance to all parishes,” he added.

As the prelate instructed, “all church edifices will be open as evacuation areas, such as the parish social hall, multi-purpose halls, convents and lastly, the church itself,” Alvero said.

In Sto. Niño Church in Tacloban, the parish pastor Msgr. Alex Opiniano gathered today the members of different faith communities in the parish, as well as, members of the basic ecclesial communities and the commission on social action to help the church disseminate its advice to locals to take precautionary measures “while there is yet time.

Code Color System

A procession was held early morning of Dec. 5 along the main thoroughfares within the parish as part of the people’s devotional recourse in this time of impending disaster brought by typhoon Ruby.

Alvero said Du calls on parishes to activate after landfall, the Parish Assessment Team to evaluate the area and then send assessments to the Central Command at the Chancery using the designated Code Color System.

As programmed by the Archdiocese the codes and their corresponding significance are:
Code White – everything Ok and no intervention necessary;
Code Blue – not ok but no need of intervention where the parishes could respond to the problem;
Code Orange, not ok and the parish thinks that the Archdiocesan Command Center is capable of responding to the problem; and
Code Red, not ok and the parish think the Command Center is not capable of responding to the problem

Fr. Isagani Petilos, head of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Action Commission, disclosed, there are also a proposed psycho-social activities in the church compounds which are being used as evacuation centers.

“For children, the parish is tasked to organize play session with catechesis. They have to be psychologically prepared for the typhoon and see in the light of faith, while for adults, the parish will organize them into working teams so that they have something to do, including praying the Oratio Imperata” he informed. (Eileen Nazareno Ballesteros/CBCPNews)

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