The church organizes a national day of prayer for the victims of Odette

Aerial view showing damaged houses in Surigao City, Surigao Del Norte Province, Philippines, December 17, 2021. Photo taken December 17, 2021. (Philippine Coast Guard / Handout via Reuters)

The Catholic Church has set December 25 and 26 as national days of prayer for families affected by Typhoon “Odette”.

The Philippine Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CBCP) called on dioceses to dedicate these days to praying for the recovery of communities affected by the typhoon.

Dioceses are also encouraged to organize a second collection in all Masses on Christmas Day and the next day for victims of the typhoon.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David de Kalookan, president of the CBCP, said the “Alay Kapwa Solidarity Fund” will be used for the Church’s collective emergency response.

“We encourage everyone to turn all collections over to Caritas Philippines, who will plan and then implement our comprehensive response,” said David.

READ: Caritas Philippines lifts emergency aid for Odette victims

The church’s advocacy arm, he added, will also provide dioceses with reports and updates on a regular basis.

“May this season of giving give us more opportunities to do consistent acts of Alay Kapwa (self-giving),” he also said.

National Caritas said at least ten dioceses in the Visayas and Mindanao regions were severely affected by the typhoon.

Odette escalated into a super typhoon before making landfall Thursday on the island of Siargao in Surigao del Norte, forcing a massive evacuation in low areas.

With maximum sustained winds of up to 195 kilometers per hour, the 15th typhoon to enter Philippine territory this year destroyed homes, displacing thousands of families.

The second strongest typhoon to hit the country this year also cut power and communication lines in affected areas.

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