To my brother bishops and priests, brothers and sisters in Christ:
In the midst of the gloom, uncertainty and grief that has beset our countrymen due to the devastation wrought by typhoon Yolanda, we bring you our message of hope. The typhoon was the strongest in the world according to the reckoning of scientists, but our faith in the Lord is even stronger. No typhoon or flood can diminish the strength of the Filipino soul. No calamity or natural devastation can quench the fire of our hope. The Filipino soul is stronger than Yolanda.
In this moment of national calamity, we turn to the Lord as we have always done for the past four hundred years. We turn to the Lord and cling to him and beg Him to stay by the people who call on His mighty name.
The whole Catholic Church in the Philippines declares a NOVENA OF PRAYER AND CHARITY from November 11 to 19, 2013 for the victims of typhoon Yolanda this week and the earthquake in Central Philippines just a few weeks ago. We will offer all our Masses and prayers for the dead and the grieving families they left behind. I encourage all our bishops and priests to conduct a charity fund collection within the same week and transmit them in the fastest possible way to the brother bishops in the calamity stricken provinces.
Paraphrasing the Apostle Paul “Earthquake where is your victory! Typhoon where is your sting! Our hope is in the Lord and we shall overcome because love is stronger than typhoons and earthquakes and death!
Given at the CBCP Headquarters, Intramuros, Manila this 10th day of November 2013.
JOSE S. PALMA, DD
Archbishop of Cebu
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