‘Yolanda’ survivors eager for papal visit

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MANILA, June 19, 2014— Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ survivors in Eastern Visayas await Pope Francis’ visit and anticipate eagerly what is expected to be a historic visit early next year, a Church official said.

Palo Archbishop John Du said Catholics are getting ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see the pope.

“The pope’s visit is another big blessing. We are happy for the blessing that come to us– the pope is coming, the people’s solidarity and the overwhelming generosity of the people,” Du said.

Many parishes received the wrath of super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ late last year, leaving many churches completely destroyed. (Photo: Fr. Edgar Abucejo)

He said the papal visit would certainly boost the morale of survivors of ‘Yolanda’, especially those who are struggling to rebuild their lives.

“Slowly, we are recovering and we are restoring the houses that were destroyed. The [repair] of Palo’s cathedral is almost done. We are really prepared for the coming of the pope,” said Du.

The archbishop also said help from various dioceses and foreign Catholic organizations make God’s love visible to the survivors.

“From the very start, I thought of what to do and where to start and where I could get [resources]. Now, I could see the God’s hands area really visible. The love of God is very concrete in this event that happened in our lives,” he added.

The region is home to a large Catholic population, which was devastated by the super typhoon that claimed thousands of lives and brought about P89 billion worth in damages.

Du said in the archdiocese of Palo alone, 70 out its 76 parishes were totally destroyed by Yolanda.

In the Diocese of Borongan in Eastern Samar, Bishop Crispin Varquez said around 15 parishes were affected by the typhoon. (CBCPNews)

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