Last weekend we experienced one of the most devastating typhoon and flood ever to hit our parish. It was the second flood to hit us in the year with only a few weeks interval. It was also the highest, reaching to heights never before experienced and places never before seen. The newly relocated houses in Brgy Lourdes (their second relocation in two years) were destroyed by the strong gush of wind and raging flood waters. In Brgy. Calubihan which was celebrating its fiesta on that fateful Sunday I saw two houses carried away down the Dungon Creek. Our Chapel in Brgy. San Vicente lost all of its galvanized iron roofs. And most, if not all, and even our Cathedral and the surrounding concrete houses were not spared the damage wrought by the typhoon Papeng and the ever worsening flood.
Despite this however, an outpouring of goodwill showed up in our church. With little notice and fanfare people responded immediately to the situation by sending us cooked rice and a variety of viands, canned goods, bread and cash, while our parish halls were opened and immediately filled up by evacuees with the meager belongings they salvaged. People in the vicinity who were spared from the flood came to help man our counters and roving patrols to distribute food and relief clothing for those who immediately need them.
Indeed this outpouring of charity showed us the goodness of our people who overpowered the dire need and prevailing hopelessness of their brothers and sisters with their generosity. Because of this we showed the world the reality of Paul’s message that in our weakness, power can indeed reach perfection - the power of goodness conquered the daily fare of our prevailing mediocrity and seeming apathy to those in need. And it has during these days of desperation.
Now, I would like to call your attention to one of our most pressing need after this calamity. Though the help we extended during those disastrous days were admirable, we are now called to respond to the more heroic task of helping our people rebuild their lives, their homes and their families. This is the more difficult task and it is in this that we are called to continue extending our helping hand. The Commission on Service of our Parish extends this invitation then to all to contribute for the rebuilding of our people's lives. All of us have been victims of this calamity but there are among us who have been hit the worst and it is they who badly need our help today. Please send your donations of cash, used clothing, or building materials to our office (c/o Fr. Medyphil Billones) to be distributed to the poorest among us so that they could immediately begin rebuilding their lives.
As we begin our vocation month, the month dedicated to make us aware of our calling, we are reminded that before we could pursue any other specific vocation in life we must first respond to the first call - the call to love, the call to serve. Any other vocation or calling, whether to the religious life, to marriage and parenthood, to singleblessedness etc., are the mere specialization of the universal and prior call for all men - the call to love.