What I Learned in the Philippines
By Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz
Seven cargo ships ran aground in the Anibong region of Tacloban City during Typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda, as it’s called in the Philippines. Three months later, children run and play around the mud-encrusted rudders of one ship. Wooden poles stick out of the water nearby where now-destroyed houses once sat on stilts. Debris litters the ground for miles. Power lines overhead dangle on patched and broken poles, impossibly tangled.
Anibong was my first encounter with a neighborhood devastated by the typhoon. Our delegation representing the U.S. bishops and Catholic Relief Services could see immediately how great the need for aid remains. Over February 4-6, I also would see the vital work of CRS in the lives of these people, work made possible by the generosity of U.S. Catholics and donors around the world.
Walking among some houses now reduced to rubble, I encountered some young people playing basketball. Children are a great prism to view the life of a community. They reflect the values of their families and conditions at home. Speaking to these young people, I saw something I would see repeatedly: the courage and resiliency of the Filipino people.
Scenes from Archbishop Kurtz's February 2014 Visit to the Philippines Archbishop Kurtz to Visit the Philippines February 2-7, Meet With Typhoon Survivors, Church Leaders, Relief Workers
Biographies of USCCB & CRS Delegation to the Philippines
Q&A on February 2014 Delegation to the Philippines
ARCHIVED PHILIPPINES LETTERS & STATEMENTS