Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dec 2012: Typhoon Missions

Balulang Mission: A Year After the Devastating Typhoon in Cagayan de Oro
December 7-9:  Rosary Crusade in Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City.  There was a procession and all-night adoration of the Blessed Sacrament to implore divine aid in our fight against the RH Bill. A lady with cancer joined us.  She was a patient of the mission clinic in Balulang.  She came with another patient.  Together, they humbly presented a simple request:  can Father please come to offer Mass in their village on the anniversary of Typhoon Sendong?  The parish priest was organizing a disco and some other fun moments for the people to forget the tragedy and get over it.  But they did not want a disco, they did not want to forget the dead, they desired wholeheartedly to have a solemn Mass for the repose of the souls of their families and friends who perished in the previous year's tragedy...  So we relayed the request to Fr. Hora.  Without much ado, Fr. Hora granted their request.  He would come to Balulang to offer Requiem Mass on December 15, the eve of Typhoon Sendong's mortal strike.

On December 15, Typhoon Sendong Anniversary Mass in Balulang Mission was held in a makeshift tent on the basketball court.  It was attended by 98 people.  
Around 70 of the attendees were patients of the mission.  
A number went to confession before the Holy Mass.   

After the solemn Mass, the people gathered around a white wooden memorial cross to light candles.  Then light snacks were shared by everyone.  The Jainga family bought cassava cakes for all and invited Fr. Hora and his assistants and the military personnel (who put up the tents) to a dinner.  Grateful voices were heard all around, appreciating the sermon of Fr. Hora and his clear explanation about the traditional Catholic Mass and the necessity of praying for the dead. May the seeds sown in this mission field grow and bear fruit in God's time. 

One of the mission patients who attended the Anniversary Mass - went to Confession and received Holy Communion that day - suffered another stroke and died the next day.  May light eternal shine upon her and may she rest in peace.  Amen.  

Number of patients served per month:
December 2011:  244
January 2012: 303
February 2012:  243
March 2012:  438
April 2012:  324
May 2012:  285
June 2012:  351
July 2012:  357
August 2012:  418
September 2012:  321
October 2012:  403
November 2012:  314
December 2012:  181
TOTAL:    4182

 A New Typhoon Mission:   Relief for Typhoon Pablo Victims in Brgy Saoquigue, Davao Oriental
As we continued our relief mission in Balulang, another mission area developed.  A faithful came to our mission office in the basement of Our Lady of Victories Church in Manila.  She begged tearfully for material help for her relatives and neighbors in Barangay Saoquigue, a village in Davao Oriental, which was badly hit by Typhoon Pablo.  An appeal was hurriedly sent to all faithful and a collection was started for the relief of the families suffering in Barangay Saoquigue.

Aboard a windswept jeep, mission volunteers led by Fr. Tim Pfeiffer conducted an ocular survey of the devastated area
public schools unroofed
commercial buildings assaulted by the winds
everywhere the sight beheld devastation, desolation,
and frustration
as the plentiful harvest went off with the wind
and the coconut industry tumbled down
turning the fields into mountains of broken dreams
but clearly, the human spirit struggled to overcome the losses
hope invincible rising above the debris enabled the victims to smile through the rain...
while they stoutheartedly embraced the new reality of being reduced to extreme poverty
Responding to their desperate pleas for help, ACIM-Asia and the SSPX faithful and priests set up a relief mission in Barangay Saoquigue. 
Fr. Timothy Pfeiffer distributed relief goods and listened as happy beneficiaries spoke of the plight of their neighbors
The long line of typhoon victims at our relief distribution center
anxiety showed on their faces as they crowded in the distribution center...  the question that probably ran through their minds was:  "Do they have enough to share to all of us?  Will we be able to receive something when our turn comes?"
A little grotto survived the tempest
 Fr. Timothy Pfeiffer taught catechism to typhoon victims
A 2007 mission patient volunteered to help in the typhoon relief mission.  He is seen teaching a typhoon victim about the Sacrament of Confession
The tragedy has made people realize the fragility of life and the necessity of living uprightly

Typhoon missions become spiritual rescue operations when the people realize that the Sacraments are real lifeboats to which they can cling for their lives....  A path to a little bag of relief goods leads lost souls back to a state of grace. A million thanks to all the generous donors!  May God bless you a million fold!

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