Dear Columban Friend,
Firstly, my sincere thanks to all of you who, either personally or together as a region, have emailed or phoned to let us know that you are in solidarity with us and the people of the Philippines as they struggle once more to deal with a devastating calamity.
All Columbans are safe. Though there were some side effects of the typhoon in some Columban areas, the full force of the typhoon hit places that we have never been in, such as Samar and Leyte.
I have experienced a number of natural disasters over my years here and seen the immediate effects of others but I have never seen the extent of the destruction caused by Haiyan.
Now, relief operations seem to be gaining traction. It was heartbreaking to see images of people begging for help and those who were most willing to help unable to do anything because they were unable to get to the places most affected.
I want to thank all those who have pledged donations for the victims and on behalf of all Columbans in the region, my thanks again to all of you for your concern and prayers. It is truly and deeply appreciated.
Fr. Pat O’Donoghue
Regional Director, Philippines