Bishop of Solomon Islands: We Have Survived

Diocese Rebuilding After Earthquake and Tsunami

GIZO, Solomon Islands, MAY 29, 2007 ( The bishop of Gizo says that despite widespread destruction, the Solomon Islands are slowly recovering after the earthquake and tsunami which struck last month.

An earthquake of magnitude 8.1 struck the islands on April 2 and the tsunami that followed caused dozens of deaths and left thousands homeless.

But Bishop Bernard O’Grady of Gizo said in a progress report that the islands are rebuilding.

“There has been so much suffering and pain throughout the diocese,” Bishop O’Grady said.

But he lauded the arrival of the World Youth Day cross, less than two weeks following the tragedy.

“The arrival of the World Youth Day cross and icon of Mary became an image of our own suffering since the tsunami and earthquake,” the bishop said.

The 75-year-old prelate added: “We are now at the beginning of the rebuilding program which has been much to the fore in our prayer and trust in the risen Christ. We see this as our own resurrection.

“Now as we experience Pentecost, the Church is born again. This is to become the theme of our diocese and our rebuilding.”

“This will be a long-term rebuilding effort,” concluded Bishop O’Grady, and “we ask for your continued support in prayer and communion with us.”