AN emotional Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila welcomed United States Catholic leaders reviewing Typhoon Haiyan recovery efforts, saying that the work to rebuild devastated communities can show the world a Church united in the service of people in need.
With tears welling up as he described the utter destruction he saw during a visit to Tacloban soon after the November 8 typhoon swept in from the sea with 313km/h winds and a tsunami-like storm surge, Cardinal Tagle reminded the international delegation on February 3 that storm survivors could teach visitors about the importance of perseverance and maintaining faith in God.
“I don’t know how we could make the whole world realise how much we could help,” Cardinal Tagle said.
“For a few days (during my visit) we knew it was possible for humankind to be together, to be one, to feel for one another and to transcend the barriers, all the baggage, the history that religion, that politics, the financial economy has imposed on everyone.
“In that regard we saw the response and demand here.
“There is so much hope for the world. We just prayed that this will be sustained and will not become sporadic, only occasional.
“We hope it becomes a lifestyle to be spearheaded by Christians.”
US Conference of Catholic Bishops president Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, who was leading the delegation on its week-long visit to the Philippines, told the cardinal the US Church wanted to work side-by-side with Filipinos in the long recovery process.
“We know there is one Church and we want to be partners with you,” he said.
US parishes still are collecting funds, most of which have been designated for humanitarian needs.
USCCB officials project that about $9 million will be raised in parish special collections for the recovery effort.