A few days after typhoon Odette, which devastated the southern Philippines on December 16 and 17, volunteers from the Catholic Association of Nurses, Doctors and Health Professional in Asia (ACIM-Asia) came to the aid of the victims of Surigao City, in the north of the island of Mindanao, an area hard hit by the cyclone.
They also brought their help to the Mamanwa in Cantugas (Mainit, Surigao del Norte), this indigenous tribe with which Acim-Asia is on a medical mission and Fr. Timothy Pfeiffer on an apostolic mission since last year.
These populations, already very poor and very neglected, were very affected by the typhoon. Many families have lost everything, that is, what little they had: a roof for shelter in poor hovels.
Along the way, the volunteers witnessed the ravages of torrential rains, winds of almost 200 km/h, landslides and squalls which destroyed or engulfed thousands of houses. Result: at least 400 dead and 500,000 displaced.
Thanks to the generosity of benefactors, the volunteers of Acim-Asia were able to collect containers of drinking water, food, and other basic necessities, stored at the priory of the Society of Saint Pius X in Davao, capital of the island of Mindanao, located 400 km from the disaster sites. They have distributed these items in the areas most affected by the typhoon.
A well-known lay figure from the Diocese of Surigao, who joined the faithful of the SSPX last year when the bishop and priests closed the churches because of Covid, took charge of the distribution of disaster relief.
A media man, he hosts a radio program on Catholic apologetics which reaches a large audience. He learned about the situation of the victims from his listeners who report from different places in Surigao.
He then went to distribute relief goods using this information, depending on the availability of donations collected from the faithful of the chapels and priories of Surigao, Davao, Gensan and other local churches as well as donations arriving from abroad.
The village of the Mamanwa tribe was badly affected by the typhoon. When he first came to the Mamanwa last year, Fr. Timothy Pfeiffer gave a catechism lesson to the members of the tribe after Mass in the tribal hall.
The members of the tribe still attached to their pagan beliefs were alarmed by the “Christianization” of their room and were very unhappy to see this common room transformed into a church.
No house in the village of the Mamanwa tribe was spared by the typhoon. The roofs, in particular, were all damaged, except in the house containing the statue of the Virgin Mary.
“Give freely to the poor, there is no excess more glorious than generosity.”
Filipinos are counting on you. Everything has to be rebuilt and your help is precious to them. We are urgently appealing for any assistance you can provide to the Filipino people affected by this disaster.
We thank you for your prayers and for any material support you can offer. May God give it back to you a hundredfold!
How to Help the Rosa Mystica Mission?
Checks should be made out to ACIM and addressed to Mme Dickès, 2 route d’Equihen, F-62360 Saint-Etienne-du-Mont.
You can also make a donation by Paypal on the Rosa Mystica website – Tax receipt furnished on request.