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Cor Unum finds destruction, resilience three months after Super Typhoon Haiyan

2014-02-16

Crumbled buildings, trash and debris litter the streets three months after Super Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines. Despite emergency aid, many people are still no better off now, than they were in the aftermath of the monster storm. 

In light of this, the Vatican's Pontifical Council Cor Unum visited the hardest hit areas to check up on reconstruction efforts by Catholic charities, including a project on behalf of the Pope.

MSGR. SEGUNDO TEJADO MUÑOZ
Under-secretary, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"We promised the archbishop to build an orphanage, because many children were left without families. They need a place to bring them in, and to look out for the future of these children.”

Card. Sarah broke ground on the orphanage, which will stand next to the diocese building. It'll also house an elderly home, and a small clinic.  

CARD. ROBERT SARAH
President, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"Good dwells where the poor are.”

The project is one of many ongoing efforts to rebuild the country. In addition to devastation to homes and businesses, Cor Unum said the storm severely damaged 70 churches

Nothing makes that point clearer than the Mass Card. Sarah celebrated in the open, under a tent.

MSGR. SEGUNDO TEJADO MUÑOZ
Under-secretary, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"We asked people what worried them most, and they said rebuilding churches. These churches in the Philippines, a very devout country, provide social cohesion. People sought refuge there first; it's where they found their first meal, drinkable water.”

Among the many initiatives to help rebuild the island nation, the Philippines' episcopal conference sponsored an Adopt-a-Parish program. It gives people the chance to fund reconstruction projects for specific churches in hard-hit areas.

Since the Cor Unum Council coordinates all Catholic charities in the country, they recognize lots of work lies ahead. But they cannot do it without help.

MSGR. SEGUNDO TEJADO MUÑOZ
Under-secretary, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"With Lent, we have a great opportunity to help these people, through our charity and contributions, at a time when the Church calls for solidarity with those who suffer.”

Despite the damage, the delegation visiting the Philippines said they were struck more by the deep devotion the people have in their faith. With help from Cor Unum, and the wider Catholic community, the Council is hopeful that faith will seem them through, on the long road to recovery.


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