The Provincial Minister of the Franciscans in the Phillipines writes: "You must have been following the news of the tragic and devastating effect of Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda in our country. Our country is in mourning for all those who have perished; thousands of survivors are homeless and are hysterically scavenging for food and water. Relief operations are undergoing but it seems frustrating due to the vast areas affected that are hardly passable and these places are in different islands in the Visayan provinces.
"The region affected is part of the OFM Custody of St. Anthony of Padua that is located in the four major islands (Samar, Leyte, Biliran and Cebu) hit hard by the typhoon. It was only yesterday that news about their situation started to pour in. The newly built Novitiate house in Ormoc City, Island Province of Leyte, is totally destroyed. The friars and the novices are however safe. In the area, there is still no electricity, no food and water. As of this time, no relief goods have reached them or their neighbors, who are also desperately in need.
"Please tell all the brothers to continue praying for us and maybe send whatever assistance they can give. I thank you for your prayers of affection and solidarity, and for offering generously your financial assistance. It is a great consolation on our part. We thank you sincerely from our hearts."
St. Anthony Shrine will be celebrating a special Mass at noon on Saturday, Nov. 23. Br. Michael Reyes, OFM, a Philippine friar will preach. Additionally, for the next week, a category will be added to the electronic giving stations in the Shrine's lobby. All monies collected at the Saturday Mass and all donations made at the electonic giving stations designated for the Philippines will be sent to help the Franciscans in the Philippines.