Despite rebuilding efforts, more than 85,000 people still live in dozens of tent camps across Haiti's expansive earthquake zone.
Catholic Relief Services
The president of the U.S. bishops' conference on Tuesday asked Catholic bishops across the country to take up a special collection for humanitarian needs and pastoral support for Christians and other victims of violence in the Middle East.
Amid the ongoing crisis in what is "the cradle of Christianity," the Catholic church "mourns the terrible suffering of Christians and other innocent victims of violence in Iraq, Syria and Gaza who are struggling to survive, protect their children and live with dignity in dire conditions," said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently summed up the state of current events this way: "The world is a mess." And that blunt comment is an understatement. Perhaps adding the word "desperate" would make her statement more accurate.
What to do? Pope Francis' recommendation: Go out to the fringes of society, serve the poor, the sick, the hungry, the migrants, the refugees, the dying. Often, these locations are conflict-filled.
An emergency adviser for Catholic Relief Services said many Filipinos learned from last year’s Typhoon Haiyan and willingly went to shelters before Typhoon Rammasun struck earlier this month.
An emotional Cardinal Luis Tagle welcomed Catholic leaders reviewing typhoon recovery efforts, saying that rebuilding communities can show the world a church united.
“The poor are not on the margins of the church; the poor are in the center of the church,” the general secretary of Caritas Internationalist told 500 activists.
Making a Difference: For countless poor human beings in the shadows of our nation and world, it is not the most wonderful time of the year.
The devastation brought on by Super Typhoon Haiyan is on a scale so big it is "unimaginable," said Jesuit Fr. Edwin Gariguez, head of Caritas in the Philippines.
"This is beyond our capacity," Gariguez told Catholic News Service by phone from Cebu province Wednesday. "That's the reason why we have our Caritas network with us now."