The Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People, through the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), has set up a special fund to assist fisherman and seafarers affected by super typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines on November 7th.
In a communique released today, Cardinal Antonio Maria Vegliò, president of the Pontifical Council, expressed his solidarity with seafarers who have lost loved ones in the tragic storm. The Apostleship of the Sea Centers around the world, he said, has provided free telephone cards and internet access to allow Filipino seafarers to contact family members.
“Many of our AOS chaplains have celebrated Masses for the deceased, and have helped the seafarers make sense of such devastation and turmoil,” Cardinal Vegliò wrote. The cardinal also expressed his gratitude to Carnival Cruise, who requested for Catholic chaplains from the AOS to be deployed on several of their ships to help support their Filipino crew members.
The special fund, which will be directed by the Apostleship of the Sea, has been set up with an initial contribution of $10,000. “The fund will support long-term reconstruction projects, to be realized in cooperation with AOS – Philippines, benefiting the people of the sea in the affected areas when, after the initial weeks of emergency, people will have to return to their ‘normal’ life,” Cardinal Vegliò stated.
Concluding his letter, the president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples asked that exposure be given to the initiative in order to help support those in need in the Philippines. (J.A.E.)
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