Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Thursday, February 11, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Novena of Grace 2016

Home : News : Nation and World
Witnessing destruction
Southern Leyte residents see horrible sights on aid trips to Tacloban
Catholic News Service photo
A resident places laundry on an umbrella to dry in the typhoon-battered city of Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 13. Hundreds of thousands of people in Leyte province have been displaced by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the worst storms to hit land.
Catholic News Service photo
A resident places laundry on an umbrella to dry in the typhoon-battered city of Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 13. Hundreds of thousands of people in Leyte province have been displaced by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the worst storms to hit land.

Catholic News Service photo
Members of the USNS Charles Drew carry boxes of drinking water to the airfield of the airport in Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 14. The cargo ship was part of a U.S.
Catholic News Service photo
Members of the USNS Charles Drew carry boxes of drinking water to the airfield of the airport in Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 14. The cargo ship was part of a U.S. "strike group" that began providing humanitarian assistance to the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.

Catholic News Service

MANILA, Philippines — Normally the trip from Maasin to Tacloban takes about three hours, but with the fallen trees and debris, getting aid there takes longer, said a priest from Southern Leyte province.

Father Harlem Gozo, director of the social action office for the Diocese of Maasin, had made two trips to the northern part of Leyte island, where the effects of Typhoon Haiyan were much worse.

Halfway to Tacloban, Father Gozo said, he saw coconut trees "somewhat beheaded" and concrete houses that looked quite sturdy if not for the trees the fell on them and split their roofs.

But as he traveled farther north, "That's where the horrible sights start," he told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview.

"You encounter corpses lying on the streets," he said. "Imagine ... the water just pushed down on them and they were caught unaware. And those who were in their houses, if they have a small house they drown inside. They pile up tables and chairs in order to step up so they would not get drowned. But if their house is small, their head is up to the ceiling and the water gets over and above them, that's it. Others, when the water receded, they just got carried away by the current."

Father Gozo said even if the survivors had food and it was stored at home, it got soaked with water, "so that after the storm, nothing to eat. Your house is devastated."

The Diocese of Maasin in Southern Leyte was in good shape compared to the near-obliteration that happened in the northern half of the island in the central Philippines. Leyte is in the central part of the country where Super Typhoon Haiyan cut a path of destruction Nov. 8.

"In our diocese, generally, aside from trees falling down and electricity posts, there's not much ... damage," said Father Gozo. On the rest of the island, "because of the challenges, the distance, the communication, the fuel, transportation and so on, the closest diocese that has communication is Maasin. All the rest are shut down."

This meant no food or water for the needy in towns surrounding Tacloban, which has been the focus for much of the aid making its way into central Philippines since the storm hit.

Father Gozo said the families that he attended to were in shock and did not know what to do. With hungry stomachs and tenuous lines of communication, he said, they were dazed and unable to "think clearly."

"We shed tears from deep within (over) the harrowing plight of our brothers and sisters," he said in a text message after the phone call with CNS got dropped. "Our helping is our prayer of solidarity with their suffering, a share of the passion of Christ, that they are not alone. The Lord gives and the he also takes away, blessed be his name."

The relief goods that started arriving in Tacloban on Nov. 9 had not gotten very far beyond the city limits because of the layers of debris that blocked passage ways, the lack of manpower to help expedite delivery and the hungry people who would stop the goods along the way.

Tacloban had most of the recorded deaths, which the government has placed at 2,300 nationwide by Nov. 14. Ninety percent of the houses in the city of 220,000 were either damaged or gone. And almost all of its first responders were as badly affected by the storm as the people they were supposed to help.

Apart from the challenge that was Tacloban, the country was dealing with more than 670,000 people left homeless by the storm. Multiple agencies of both civil society and government have been trying to get aid to more than half of them.

Areas that were not as badly affected by the storm pooled efforts to help out, especially in Tacloban and its surrounding vicinity.

Southern Leyte Vice Governor Mike Maamo said Nov. 14 that he was planning a third visit to the devastation the following day. He planned to take a team of 150 people to help secure safe passage for the relief convoys as they exited the distribution hub at Tacloban airport.

Maamo said a provincial disaster management council was particularly concerned with the far-flung towns cut off from aid. Council members created an "adopt a municipality" program to help these smaller communities.

Throughout the tragedy that he witnessed in Tacloban, Maamo, a self-described "devout Catholic," said his faith never wavered.

"I really believe that God is helping us," Maamo told CNS. "It's not because you were affected by the typhoon that God is nowhere to be found. But you know, you should see to it that it's not the material things that count, it's your faith.

"I've been telling the families that are so desperate, 'It's not (what's) in this world that counts. It is the life after death," he said. "Maybe it's at this point in time that we have to help each other, even if we lost some members of our family."

Related Stories:
• In Philippines, signs of faith among ruins of typhoon
• Typhoon devastation called 'unimaginable'
• Mass for Philippines
• Desperate Filipinos add to challenging logistics of delivering aid
• CRS asks bishops to take up second collection to aid Philippines

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved