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Flash News. Super typhoon hits the Philippines; damages Good Shepherd convents

Submitted by: admin
On: 08/12/2006
Hundreds of homes including two Good Shepherd Convents in the Philippines were destroyed when Super typhoon Reming (international code ‘Durian’) reached the country last week. Mayon Volcano

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Super typhoon hits the Philippines;
damages Good Shepherd convents

 Hundreds of homes including two Good Shepherd Convents in the Philippines were destroyed when Super typhoon Reming (international code ‘Durian’) reached the country last week.

 Sr. Clare Bagot, secretary of the Philippine Province sent an email during the weekend that Legazpi, the city where Good Shepherd Sisters run a program for the urban poor, was badly hit.  She said that the roof of the girls' residence was blown off by strong winds at the height of the typhoon and that the water level inside the convent was almost a meter high. The girls are safe and went to higher grounds. The convent is within view of the Mayon Volcano and close to the sea. Many houses in the area are poorly constructed consisting of only bamboo and tin sheets and were heavily damaged by the last typhoon in September.

The office building for the programs situated near the convent is now full of evacuees seeking refuge and shelter.

Photo: From left to right, Srs. Carmelita Cruz, Elizabeth Garciano. Lourdes Fabia et Guadalupe Bautista during the 2003 General Chapter.

Sr. Carmelita Cruz, provincial coordinator, said in a telephone conversation, that she received initial reports that the building of St. Bridget School in Buhi Camarines Sur, a secondary school for boys and girls, was also damaged because of the typhoon. She is awaiting reports from the Good Shepherd Sisters in Naga who are the nearest to the area.  Electricity and communications lines were interrupted, and transportation has been difficult.  Sr. Carmelita is scheduled to visit the area before the weekend.

 Eliene Barros Elaine Basinger
 Eliene Barros Elaine Basinger
Srs. Elaine Basinger, link councilor and Eliene Barros, auxiliary link councilor expressed sadness over the recent typhoon.  Two weeks ago, they were in the Philippines for the province visit.  Sr. Elaine herself was in Legazpi and Naga to meet the Sisters and women being helped in the region. 

Sr. Virgo Espineda, local coordinator and the Good Shepherd community in Naga are responding to the needs of the victims in Legazpi and Buhi.  Map of the PhilippinesWhile Metro Manila was spared from the destructive wrath of the typhoon, experiencing only little rain and wind,  Batangas City was also badly hit.  (The first Good Shepherd Community in the Philippines was founded in Batangas in 1912.) Trees were uprooted and power lines might take some time to resume service. However, the Sisters, students and faculty of Sr. Bridget College were able to pool resources to bring a truckload of goods to the cities of Legazpi and Naga, about a 9-hour drive from Batangas.


Srs. Aimee Olaguer and Joseph Olaguer who hail from the Albay region also responded to the needs of the poor in the area, the hardest hit during the typhoon.

DetailThe Philippine Province is sending help through its ‘Tugon sa Krisis’ fund, a calamity/emergency fund that Good Shepherd communities put up for the poor in times of crisis.

Sisters from various parts of the world also expressed their solidarity with the people in this moment of grief over loss of lives and property.

According to the estimates made by the Philippine National Red Cross, the super typhoon affected as many as 31 villages of 14,871 residents, in the Bicol Region. It is feared that the death toll might reach a thousand.

Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said the tragedy was connected to the destruction of the environment by human beings. "Perhaps, the destruction would not have been as big if only our environment and ecology were strong," he said during an interview conducted by a local newspaper.

Pope Benedict XVI also expressed his sadness December 1 on receiving the news of the deadly typhoon that struck the Philippines.

The Pope's message was relayed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to the apostolic nuncio in the Philippines, Archbishop Fernando Filoni,  assuring all those " affected of his closeness in prayer" and "commends the deceased to the loving mercy of Almighty God," invoking "upon the grieving families and all those injured … divine strength and comfort."  He also added that he is praying for the rescue workers and all involved in providing assistance to the victims.

Typhoon Durian struck the Southern part of Luzon Thursday, November 28, with strong winds and rains that brought tons of mud and rocks the size of vehicles into some villages. Among the provinces with the most damage where Albay (Legazpi City) and Naga and Buhi in Camarines Sur.  Legazpi is where stands Mount Mayon, the volcano that erupted several months ago.

Sr. Brigid LawlorPhoto: Sr. Brigid Lawlor

Sr. Brigid Lawlor, congregational leader, in hearing of this calamity said, “Our hearts are burdened as we learn of yet another tragedy.  We unite in prayer and solidarity.  As a Congregation we are grateful for all the concern and prayer messages that are being conveyed and we are also grateful for financial support from of our units and lay collaborators who can lend assistance at this difficult time.”


For those who wish to help:

Name of Account :            Philippine Province of the Good Shepherd Name of Bank:                 Bank of the Philippine Islands
Bank Address :                 Loyola, Katipunan Branch corner Escaler
Katipunan, Quezon City, Philippines

SWIFT Code:                    BOPIPHMM

Account No..:                   S/A  3084-0004-84

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