Archbishop of Manila orders special collection as typhoons ravage the country

Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales
Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales

.- As another major storm approaches the typhoon-battered Philippines, the national government has declared a “state of calamity” and Archbishop of Manila Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales has announced a special Sunday collection for victims of Typhoon Ketsana.

“This coming Sunday, October 4, a special collection will be made at all Sunday Masses, including the anticipated Masses, in Parishes, Chapels and Malls for the victims of the Ondoy disaster,” he said, using the local name for the typhoon.

At least 293 were killed by the storm and the floods which accompanied it. Ketsana dumped a month’s worth of rain in six hours, Bloomberg reports.

Cardinal Rosales challenged the country’s Catholics to come to the aid of those heavily affected.

“A destruction as large as this becomes a call to all of us to reach out to our brothers and sisters who are out there literally still wet and cold—homeless,” he said in a statement from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Fr. Anton Pascual, Executive Director of Caritas Manila, said that donations for flood victims may be sent to any nearby parish or diocesan social action centers. These will coordinate with Caritas Manila to distribute the aid to the nine affected dioceses, which include the Archdiocese of Manila.

“We want our brothers and sisters to feel some comfort to ease their pain and suffering when they receive the relief goods,” Fr. Pascual said.

The CBCP reports that Caritas Manila, which is the social action arm of the Archdiocese, has already distributed relief goods to almost 21,000 families since relief work began last Sunday.

As of Friday, forecasters predicted that Typhoon Parma, a Category 4 storm with measured winds of 138 miles per hour, would make landfall on 8 a.m. Saturday.

“It is almost unprecedented for any region to experience so many disasters over such a short period of time,” United Nations Under-Secretary-General Noeleen Heyzer said in a statement, according to Bloomberg. “The disasters of the past week remind us that the Asia Pacific is the worlds’ disaster hot spot.”

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