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Manila churches raising money for Taal victims

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Catholic churches under the Archdiocese of Manila are holding a second collection drive during the masses for the victims of Taal Volcano's eruption.

“In solidarity with our bringers and sisters who are affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano, His Eminence Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle requests that a second collection be taken at all Masses from evening of Saturday, January 18 and whole day of Sunday, January 19,” Fr. Reginald Malicdem, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Manila, said in a circular dated January 13.

Malicdem also ordered the churches to remit all collections to the accounting department of the Arzobispado de Manila on or before January 22.

Malicdem also urged priests to include in the prayer of the faithful on all masses for the eruptions to end and for all people to be safe.

He said the special collection for the Holy Childhood Sunday on January 19 will be moved to a February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.

He added that on January 26, the Sunday of the Word of God, there will also be a second collection for the biblical apostolate.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) joined the calls for prayers and assistance for those affected by the calamity.

“During this very difficult situation, for thousands of families affected by this volcanic activity, we are encouraged to do acts of solidarity, and first of these is to offer sincerely our prayers to the Lord for these suffering people,” CBCP president Archbishop Romulo Valles in a statement.

Valles also expressed hope that the affected people will be resilient and overcome the effects of the disaster.

“May the Lord, in his mysterious wand merciful ways, strengthen the hearts and resolve of these people to be strong and not to be easily discouraged in their difficult situation. May our Blessed Mother, our Mother of Perpetual Help, our Mother of Mercy, let her motherly and comforting presence be felt by these our suffering people,” he added.

Aside from prayers, the Davao archbishop urged the people for their generosity by donating material goods.

“And again, in this difficult situation, we are also called to acts of charity and solidarity through our donations of medical goods, such as food and most probably shelter and clothing because people may have left their residences without bringing enough necessary provisions,” he said.

The CBCP head also asked the faithful to pray for the people from all sectors who continue to help the calamity victims.

“Let us offer our particular prayers and encouragement to the local government personnel in these areas, and the Philippine National Police and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology personnel and other civic groups for their continuing work in the midst of this calamity. We pray for their safety and strength and wellbeing. We pray also for more volunteers in the work of responding to the needs of our suffering brothers and sisters,” he added.

Thousands have been evacuated after the volcano’s phreatic eruption on Sunday.

Taal Volcano is currently under Alert Level 4 which means a hazardous eruption is imminent within hours or days. 

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