Catholic Mission, as the Holy See’s mission agency, is taking action to support missionaries who are providing vital emergency support and pastoral care following the devastating February 6 earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.
Specialised search and rescue teams from across the world have joined forces in the affected areas and stories of extraordinary rescues, almost a week after the quake, continue to emerge. But humanitarian agencies are warning of a “second disaster” as scores of people left homeless in the freezing cold struggle to survive.
Religious and lay missionaries are coordinating efforts to provide pastoral and practical support to survivors who have lost everything, a situation worsened by the freezing temperatures.
“I try to be close, there is so much pain and fear in everyone’s heart. What this earthquake has done is unbelievable. People’s fear is stronger than when there was war,” Syrian Father Jacques Mourad said.
Catholic Mission is known as the Pontifical Mission Societies in other parts of the world.
“My message would be a call to prayer and generosity in the following times,” Pontifical Mission Societies Türkiye national director Fr Adrian Loza OFM said. “After the first moments will have passed the second and third stage will start – mourning and rebuilding.”