Help to Rebuild Four Parish Churches Destroyed by a Typhoon in the Philippines
Project Code: 329-01-19
Again and again, the Philippines hits the headlines as a result of the grave natural disasters that afflict the country. A severe earthquake in October 2013 and then the devastating Typhoon Hayan in November, only a month later, caused widespread devastation and loss of life. Many churches and Church properties were completely destroyed, such as the bell tower of the Basilica of the "Santo Nino" in Cebu. This is the church where the revered image of the Christ Child is housed, brought to Cebu along with the Spaniards in the year 1521 and revered ever since, throughout the Philippines.
These more recent disasters can tend to make people forget the damage done in other places in the Philippines by earlier natural disasters that never really made the headlines, damage that has in many cases not been repaired to this day. The Catholic Church in the Philippines, which will be celebrating its 500th anniversary in the year 2021, still faces enormous challenges in the task of rebuilding.
An example of just such a "forgotten catastrophe" is Typhoon Bopha, which struck the Philippines in early December 2012. Over 1,000 people were killed, 10,000 houses were destroyed, and there were numerous landslides and flash floods. Fields were devastated and harvests destroyed, and many roads were made impassable by fallen trees.
The Diocese of Mati was one of those hardest hit by this typhoon. Three small towns were almost wiped out, and four parish churches were either largely or completely destroyed. Ever since then, Church life has had to continue in temporary tents.
The diocese was founded in 1984 and serves almost 400,000 Catholics today, with 41 priests, 19 parishes and 1,205 smaller chapel-based communities. There are 1,189 volunteer lay catechists, who teach in the 227 state primary schools and in the chapels.
The Church is very lively, but in Cateel, Baganga, Kinablangan and Lambajon the Catholic faithful are still faced with the ruins of the four chapels that were destroyed by the typhoon. ACN has promised to help with a contribution of $8,200. Will you help fulfill this promise to rebuild these churches in the Philippines?
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