The following letter was sent to the Bishops of Canada this week by Archbishop Paul Andre Durocher, the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
My dear Brother Bishops,
Our hearts go out to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, particularly those of us who have many Philippino faithful in our dioceses. In his weekly Angelus Prayer at the Vatican this past Sunday, Pope Francis invited us to pray publicly and privately for the many who have lost their lives or have been affected by this terrible tragedy and to come to their assistance.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has joined with the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) to prepare a first response and a plan of continuing aid for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. I am writing to request that a special national collection be held before December 9, 2013 in the dioceses and parishes of Canada to support the massive relief effort being mounted by us, CCODP and other member organizations of the Caritas Internationalis family, to aid our sisters and brothers in desperate need arising from this natural disaster.
Development and Peace is participating in the response of the global Caritas family to this emergency, and has already sent a first contribution of $100,000 to Caritas Philippines to provide immediate support (basic temporary shelters, emergency food and water supplies, medicines, etc.) for the victims.
The Catholic Church in Canada has a long history of generous support by Canadian Catholics for the victims of natural disasters in several parts of the globe. Through the network of Catholic agencies (members of the Caritas confederation), CCODP is able to respond immediately and effectively to the most urgent needs, and then accompany the affected populations in the longer-term reconstruction and rehabilitation of devastated communities and rebuilding the livelihoods of those most suffering.
The Government of Canada has pledged a matching contribution of all funds raised by eligible charities for this emergency. Development and Peace is eligible for this program, which is applicable to all donations received prior to December 9 2013. All donations to Development and Peace received during this period will effectively be doubled by this matching contribution from the Government of Canada.
Together, let us continue to pray for those who are so much in need of our aid. Kindly
send the proceeds of your collection directly to CCODP using the special envelopes that are
available in all the regional offices of Development and Peace and which can also be ordered
online at the following links:
We will provide you with updates on the results on a regular basis. Should you
require any additional information, do not hesitate to contact Msgr. Patrick Powers, General
Secretary of the CCCB. I thank you in advance for your assistance.
Sincerely yours in Christ our Lord,