Pastoral Letter on the 5th Annual Commemoration of Super Typhoon Yolanda
Beloved clergy, religious men & women, lay leaders, and the People of God in the Diocese of Borongan:
As we commemorate this year the 5th anniversary of the onslaught of Yolanda, a powerful force that first made its landfall in Eastern Samar, we especially remember the following:
- Those who died during the said calamity: may they find rest in the peace of the Lord through our constant suffrages for them;
- Those who suffered psychological trauma from the event: may they attain the complete healing of memories through professional help and through the assistance of their friends;
- Those who have not yet fully recovered materially or economically and are still struggling to rebuild their lives until now: may they not lose hope in the Lord’s generous care for them;
- Those nations, international organizations, humanitarian groups, volunteer workers, and all those who assisted us during the aftermath of Yolanda.
While we constantly pray to God through the intercession of his angels and saints for protection from various calamities, we also see the urgent need to step-up our collective human efforts to generate weather-resilient architecture, modes of livelihood, economy, and way of life.
Let us also renew our commitment as a local Church to cooperate with civil authorities, NGOs, and with men & women of various faith persuasions in disaster risk reduction initiatives, calamity-preparedness, and in relief-recovery-rehabilitation programs.
Aware of our being naturally-located along the typhoon path, let us transform this precarious situation into an opportunity for blessing and authentic progress. Just like Yolanda which was in itself a natural evil but later on transformed into a source of enormous blessings for our communities and individuals, we can certainly elicit among our people that ingenuity and indomitable faith so that we can more effectively persevere as resilient & creative Estehanons in the years to come. Then, Eastern Samar will truly become the place where the dawn first rises— the province where “great” things first make their landfall, and where exceptional Faith and real progress are first brewed or initiated.
May the Virgin Mary, Patroness of our diocese and herself the “white dawn” announcing to all men the rising of the Sun of Salvation—Jesus Christ, inspire us to persevere in our unique vocation of being a people called to live up to the reality of the Light and to give witness to the Light in the midst of a society threatened by the dark night of gloom.
With my paternal blessing,
+MOST REV CRISPIN B. VARQUEZ, DD
Bishop of Borongan