Parish marks ‘Ondoy’ 7th anniversary

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Fr. Gilbert Billena of the San Isidro Labrador Church blesses the parish’s new office for Disaster Preparedness and Response Ministry, Sept. 26, 2016.

MANILA, Sept. 26, 2016— A Catholic parish on Monday commemorated the seventh anniversary of the tragedy brought on by tropical storm “Ondoy”, reiterating calls for climate justice and care for creation.

A procession and a Mass were held at the San Isidro Labrador Parish Church in Bagong Silangan, Quezon City for the more than 100 people who died from the onslaught of Ondoy.

Held in coordination with various people’s organizations and survivors of the storm, the event was highlighted by the blessing of the parish’s office for Disaster Preparedness and Response Ministry.

Fr. Gilbert Billena, parish priest, said the gathering was also held so some survivors could share their stories, hopes, and struggles.

He said it was also an opportune time to register the call to protect the environment, be proactive in disaster risk reduction efforts, and to push for climate justice.

“We believe that the tragedy that happened seven years ago is the result of climate change and environmental degradation caused by developmental aggression and social injustice that forced the urban poor to be vulnerable to man-made and natural disaster,” said Billena. (CBCPNews) 

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