Catholic Filipinos renew faith in God after typhoon

Picking up the pieces

Caritas Australia and its emergency response partners will deliver over 4,000 temporary shelters to families as devoutly Catholic Filipino people renew their faith in God despite the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan.

- Caritas Australia/news.com.au

The Caritas distribution will deliver over 4,000 temporary shelters to families in the poorest villages of Ormoc, where 80-90 percent of homes were decimated by Super Typhoon Haiyan.

Caritas Australia International Programs Manager, Jamie Davies is in the Philippines and today is driving from Tacloban to Ormoc, a city of 190,000 on the western side of the island of Leyte. “Our team has located the poorest barangays [villages] along the coast of Ormoc who have been left with absolutely nothing. Their need for shelter and basic essentials is urgent,” said Ms Davies.

The program comes as locals turn to God in the aftermath. Ranier Alibadbad, 26, lost his father on Sunday, two days after Typhoon Haiyan struck. His father, aged 52, was repairing his destroyed home when he had a heart attack and died. Ranier says it was the stress that killed him.

Now Ranier was busy at work in the Redemptionist Church in downtown Tacloban, helping to get supplies out to the parishioners. Of the coming of the typhoon, and the death of his father, he does not question his God.

'No, I don't ask why God does this,' he said. 'But God does this for a reason. He challenges us for a reason. I am not saying he is punishing us - that was what they thought in my father's time. He challenges us to have faith.' 

He said there was no use in people retreating to a cloistered world of prayer to ask for help. 'It is about people giving service to other people in this time,' he said.

Meanwhile UN head, Ban Ki-moon, ignored divine explanations, instead citing climate change for the massive storm. Speaking at the Tallin University in Estonia on Saturday, Ban called the super typhoon 'an urgent warning' and 'an example of changed weather and how climate change is affecting all of us on Earth.'

Photo: an altar server lifts up a broken crucifix as he and others clear debris from the altar area of the partially destroyed Metropolitan Cathedral in Palo, Phillippines

FULL COVERAGE

Catholic Filipinos in Tacloban renew faith in God after Typhoon Haiyan (News.com.au)

Signs of faith among the ruins (CNS)

Grieving typhoon survivors go to church (Sky)

Survivors flock to churches (ABC)

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