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“Every two months we have a catastrophe,” Lebanese priest says after port explosion

The Church in Lebanon has intensified its work since the moment of the tragic explosion. The tragedy has aggravated the economic, social and political crisis the country was experiencing, to which is also added the coronavirus pandemic.

Provincial, Vincentian Missionaries in the Middle East
“For the last year, we've had a catastrophe every two months. What can we do? Next month, we might face something even worse. We've already had three or four in Lebanon. It's difficult to survive. I say survive, not live. Every time, something worse than the last time happens. In this moment, it's especially necessary to have Job's faith.”

This priest experienced the explosion alongside his Vincentian brothers. He shares the pain of losing loved ones, among them a sister of charity who was killed by the explosion.

Provincial, Vincentian Missionaries in the Middle East
“The pressure on her body was so strong that we lost her. She was a nun who had been working in Lebanon for 30 years. We've lost parishioners, friends, among them a three-year-old baby girl. It was a real catastrophe for the family.”

Amid the pain and suffering, the Church has made its presence felt. Fr. Haddad highlights the work of the Vincentian priests, who have been coordinating with Caritas and other organizations.

Provincial, Vincentian Missionaries in the Middle East
“It's important also to tend to the children who have been traumatized. We have a psychologist and a volunteer who help us listen to these children who have undergone real trauma because of this explosion. They've felt their houses crumbling down upon them, and they don't understand what happened. They need help. They need someone to accompany them psychologically to overcome this shock.”

Hundreds of volunteers have been working tirelessly to provide meals and support to those who have lost everything. In the midst of the tragedy, the Lebanese people are showing that there is strength in unity.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: Claudia Torres