Most Reverend Jose S. Palma, D.D.
Archbishop of Cebu
President, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
c/o Archbishop’s Residence
234 D. Jakosalem Street
6000 Cebu City
It was with great sadness that we learned of the enormous devastation wrought by Typhoon Yolanda and the earlier earthquake on the people of the Philippines. Images of those killed and injured by the storm’s fury and the massive destruction of homes, commercial property and infrastructure have flooded the media, making us all aware of the heartbreaking tragedy your beloved country had suffered.
In the face of such widespread destruction and chaos, the bishops of the United States, gathered this week for the Plenary Assembly of their Episcopal Conference, express their fraternal solidarity with you and your brother bishops. Together with the Catholic faithful throughout this country, we assure you of our prayers for the victims of this disaster and for the survivors as they struggle to rebuild their lives. We join in your call for a Novena of Prayer and Charity from November 11 to 19 and bless you for your efforts to promote calm and peace despite the ravages of the storm. Your appeal to the strong Filipino soul is a rallying cry for faith in God, for as you said, “No calamity or natural devastation can quench the fire of our hope.”
We join with the Holy Father in his expression of solidarity with the people of the Philippines, and his invocation of “divine blessings of strength and consolation” during this most difficult time.
Fraternally in Christ,
Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops