WelCom March 2021
On 1 November 2020, Typhoon Goni struck the north-east areas, bringing catastrophic rain, volcanic mudflows and violent winds gusting 280km/h. It was the most powerful typhoon to hit the Philippines last year, killing more than 20 people and destroying thousands of homes.
Bishop Colin Bagaforo of Kidapawan Diocese and National Director of NASSA (Caritas Philippines) issued a global appeal for prayers and help. ‘The typhoon will surely bring greater poverty to our communities severely affected, as they have also been battling against the effects of Covid-19. So with humility, we appeal for everyone’s sincere acts of kindness, generosity and compassion’.
The Filipino community in the Wellington Archdiocese were among many who responded. Parishes where Filipino Simbag Gabi Masses (novena) were held before Christmas, raised around $7,500.
Fr Marcel Emmanuel Real, Executive Director of Caritas, Archdioceses of Cáceres, Philippines, wrote to Cardinal John Dew last month. He enclosed a report and a personal message of gratitude on behalf of Archbishop Rolando Octavus Joven Tria Tirona, OCD, DD, the Archbishop of Cáceres in Naga City, and from the Archdiocese’s Social Action Commission.
“Dear Most Rev. Cardinal Dew,
Greetings of Peace!
We wish to express our gratitude for the support you extended to our brethren severely affected by the super typhoons that hit our province. We were gladdened how your community in Wellington mobilised resources, in a matter of just two weeks, to help the many families who were left homeless and deprived of their livelihoods.
This February, we are on the fourth month of our humanitarian service helping the Parishes to rebuild their communities. We started out with emergency relief by providing food packs, thermal kits and hygiene kits as our immediate response. We have moved on to [the] rehabilitation phase by reaching out to families whose houses were severely damaged, providing housing materials. The number of families we have reached may be negligible, but the impact on these families is vast. Your contribution will enable us to spread help to a few more families.
Please offer my heartfelt thanks to all who have extended assistance to the victims of these typhoons. On behalf of the 17,000 families or 75,000 individuals, our sincerest thanks.
God bless you and keep you safe always.
Rev Fr Emmanuel Marcel Dp Real, Executive Director, Caritas, Cáceres, Naga, Philippines.”