“All truly human hearts go out to the Filipino people”
More than 800 people filled St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta on Monday 18 November for a Memorial Mass for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
During the Mass, there was a collection for survivors of the typhoon. Donations will be forwarded to Caritas Australia, the Catholic international aid and development organisation.
The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, presided at the Mass.
The homily was given by Fr Ruben Elago MSP, Filipino Chaplaincy Co-ordinator and Parish Priest of Mary Immaculate Parish at Quakers Hill-Schofield.
“By your prayers will come the inspiration”
Bishop Anthony said Caritas had committed $1.5 million to add to the $30 million in emergency assistance already offered by the Australian Government.
“Many other countries and charities have also been generous, which is a tribute to how all human hearts go out to the victims and survivors of this disaster. It is a disaster for all humanity,” he said.
“The death toll from Typhoon Haiyan presently stands around 4000 but could go higher; thousands more are unaccounted for; more than 12,000 people have been injured; three million people have been displaced and as many as 13 million people, including millions of children, are in need of assistance. Many are thirsty and hungry, sick and disoriented. Many of you here tonight have relatives among them.
“I said that all truly human hearts go out to the Filipino people at this time, but that is especially so of hearts in this Western Sydney Diocese of Parramatta. As I’ve observed before, 30,000 or something like one in 10 of the people in this Diocese are Filipino-born; if they have one child each in Australia, or even average one child born here for every two people from the Philippines, then between 12% and 20% of Western Sydney Catholics are Filipino-Australians.
“About 18 of the priests who live and serve in this Diocese are Filipino too. We have at least four Filipino Mass centres, many of our ordinary parishes have big Filipino numbers, and we’ve recently reorganised the Chaplaincy to better reflect the fact that Filipinos are the mainstream in this part of the world.
“Some say Parramatta is the southern-most part of the Archdiocese of Cebu. Filipino Catholics bring us the wealth of their history and culture, their strong family life and devotional faith, their love of partying and compassion for the poor.
“I saw a woman being interviewed in Tacloban who said what they most needed now was food and water and inspiration to carry on. By your generosity and that of other Australians the emergency aid is getting there.
“By your prayers will come the inspiration. The Lord who wept at the death of His friend Lazarus gives us that inspiration, for He is the resurrection and the life. It is to Him we turn in confidence as we repent of our sins.”
Download an audio file of Fr Ruben Elago MSP’s HomilyGo to Typhoon Haiyan Memorial Mass Photo Gallery
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