13 November 2013
MEMO TO: THE ADZU COMMUNITY
RE: CALL TO PRAYER AND SOLIDARITY FOR TYPHOON YOLANDA AND EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS
These days we are seeing more and more the massive death and devastation caused by typhoon Yolanda in Eastern and Central Visayas, especially in the island of Leyte. Weeks ago, we also witnessed the destruction caused by the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu. Hundreds of thousands are homeless, and millions are displaced and dislocated from their livelihood. I would like to invite everyone to pause for a while and remember our suffering brothers and sisters in prayer. We in Zamboanga know the hardship of calamity and conflict, and we can express our solidarity with the victims of typhoon Yolanda and the earthquake at this point through prayer. As we continue to attend to the ongoing challenge of rehabilitation in Zamboanga City, we will plan on how we can still extend help to the victims of these calamities. I am requesting SACSI Office to organize a scheme to facilitate donations from our students, faculty and staff. Also in the spirit of communion and solidarity, we will simplify our upcoming University celebrations like the traditional Ateneo Fiesta and Alumni Homecoming.
I suggest that each office/department set aside a specific time to remember our suffering brothers and sisters in prayer. The following may be used written by Wende Wheeler:
Almighty and merciful God, your people are suffering in the wake of this natural disaster. As we struggle to imagine its scope and comprehend the pain and loss, so that we may be your agents in relief, we lift our voices to you in prayer:
For all those who have lost their lives, that you have received them into your arms of mercy and love;
For all those who grieve, having lost children, parents, family, friends, neighbors, and community, and for all those who are still searching, that they may sense the solace of your presence;
For all those who are sick, injured or suffering, and for those have lost their homes and belongings, that they may find healing and the strength to continue, and the resources to rebuild their lives;
For all those who go to provide food, shelter, sanitation, medical care, and other aid, serving as your hands to comfort, heal and help, that they may be strengthened to do difficult work in devastating conditions;
For all those around the globe who look on in shock and anguish, that you may fill our hearts with compassion for those in need, showing us how you wish us to pray and reach out in the face of such suffering, and not turn from its enormity;
For all of your people, that such events on this earth should not shake our faith. Help us to recognize that our suffering is your suffering, and that your love can be found even in the darkest places. Help us to accept the healing and strength you offer, and to remember that ultimately the pain and cares of this world will yield to the peace of everlasting life in you.
All of these prayers we make to you in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Fr Karel S San Juan SJ