The U.S. bishops send their solidarity and support for the people of the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in a letter to the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. The U.S. bishops will also take up a special collection to aid in relief efforts, Cardinal Dolan announced in a letter to the U.S. bishops.
“Together with the Catholic faithful throughout this country, we assure you of our prayers for the victims of this disaster and for the survivors as they struggle to rebuild their lives,” Cardinal Dolan wrote Nov. 12 to Archbishop Jose S. Palma of Cebu, president of the bishops of the Philippines.
USCCB will sponsor a special collection during the next few weeks to aid in recovery efforts of Typhoon Haiyan. The bishops recognize the enormous need of the victims in the Philippines and Vietnam and ask parishioners to be generous in helping those affected.
In a letter to all U.S. bishops on November 11, Cardinal Dolan wrote, “The Church mourns the terrible suffering of our brothers and sisters affected by this powerful storm. To complicate this situation, Typhoon Haiyan follows on the heels of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in the same region just a month ago. Citizens in this Pacific Island country are already displaced and have been hurt even more. The local government and church institutions cannot manage the magnitude of this disaster on their own. Those affected need our help.”
The second collection funds will support the efforts of the USCCB and Catholic Relief Services (the official international humanitarian agency representing the Catholic Church in the United States) to aid in addressing emergency relief and recovery needs including immediate necessities such as water, food, shelter, and medical care. Collection funds will also be used to support the long-term needs including rebuilding Church structures affected by the widespread destruction.
Typhoon Haiyan destroyed entire villages and devastated cities across the Philippines and Vietnam. As many as 10,000 people or more are believed to have died as a result of this super typhoon and more than 9 million people have been adversely affected. The full extent of structural damage is still unknown.
“The assistance of the Catholic community of the United States is urgently needed,” said Cardinal Dolan in his letter to the U.S. bishops, “We will do all we can to stand by our brothers and sisters in the Philippines.” Additional information on the U.S. Catholic community’s response to this emergency and how U.S. Catholics can help can be found at www.crs.org. . . and www.usccb.org.
Cardinal Dolan’s letter to the Philippines Bishops Conference is available online:www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/asia/philippines/cardinal-dolan-typhoon-yolanda-letter-of-solidarity-13-11-12.cfm
Cardinal Dolan’s letter to the Bishops of the United States is available online:www.usccb.org/about/national-collections/upload/2013-11-11-Dolan-to-all-bishops-Typhoon-Haiyan-4.pdf