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Catholic Voice
  November 18, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Bishop's Column

Bishop Barber calls for prayers, assistance after Typhoon Haiyan

Most Rev.
Michael C. Barber, SJ

Dear Friends in Christ,

We have all been moved by the news of the devastation caused by the Typhoon that struck the Philippines and to a lesser degree, the coast of Vietnam. I am writing this to you from the annual meeting of all the U.S. bishops in Baltimore, where Catholic Relief Services has made an extensive report to us on the immediate assistance it is providing in the name of the Catholic Church of the USA. All of us bishops want to do everything we can to help.

The devastation is particularly great in the Philippines where thousands of people are presumed dead after this storm — which has been termed the biggest in history — swept through the area.

The cry for help is loud and clear. As Christians, we must and we will respond. Catholic Relief Services is no stranger to the area. Together with other agencies, CRS is initially focusing on providing shelter, safe drinking water and other essential household and hygiene items to those most affected.

I know many people in our Diocese of Oakland have family in the afflicted areas, and are fraught with worry for their loved ones. With electricity out and roads destroyed, communication is next to impossible. Know that our prayers are with you as you await word. Our hearts also go out to those who have died and are injured, and to the families that mourn them. Let us lift up the suffering people in the Philippines and Vietnam to the Lord in our prayers and at the altar!

How to help
Benefit Concert

7 p.m. Nov. 24
The San Francisco Opera Chorus and Festival Chorale will present Verdi's Requiem and they will be joined by the San Francisco Boys Choir. Proceeds will go to aid victims of the Typhoon Haiyan. Details on tickets/donations: www.ctlcathedral.org.

Second collection
A special collection will be taken up in all parishes of the Diocese of Oakland to assist people in the Philippines and Vietnam devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. Parishes can schedule the collection on either the weekend of Nov. 16-17 or Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

Click here for more
typhoon news.
I am also authorizing a special collection to be taken up in all our parishes on the weekend of Nov. 16-17 or the weekend of Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

I recall a mission poster that read: "Christ has no hands, no feet no ears, but yours." Will you be the hands, feet and ears of Christ to our brothers and sisters enduring such great devastation and suffering? I am confident they can depend on your generosity.

With prayerful good wishes, I am,
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Michael C. Barber, SJ
Bishop of Oakland

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