Palma honors Yolanda donors in dawn mass

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

AT THE first misa de gallo yesterday, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma thanked those who helped the survivors of typhoon Yolanda.

In the mass at the chapel of the Archbishop’s Residence Compound, Palma narrated in his homily stories of how individuals showed concern for the typhoon survivors.

He said the show of generosity was a sign of solidarity among the people and a celebration of the spirit of Christmas.

“The spirit of Christmas and solidarity are in one’s hearts. Thinking of those people who were affected by the typhoon and putting them in our prayers is an expression of solidarity,” he said.

Palma said expressing faith through praying for the typhoon survivors shows the concern of Filipinos for each other.

In an interview with Sun.Star, Palma said no masses were cancelled because of the typhoon.

“Though some parishes are badly hit, they are putting up tents even just above the altar,” he said.

He also said the adopt-a-parish program is ongoing. The archdiocese is giving medicines and food as initial support for priests of affected parishes in Leyte.

Palma said they are negotiating with construction companies to rebuild the destroyed churches.

He said they are also helping fishermen get back on their feet by giving them boats.

“Do not lose hope. In due time with the help of others, we will rise and appreciate our faith more,” Palma said in his message to the typhoon survivors.

The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) described yesterday’s dawn masses to be peaceful, while lamenting the heavy traffic in areas near churches all over the city.

City Intelligence Branch (CIB) Chief Romeo Santander, in a phone interview, said they did not expect the huge crowds that attended the dawn masses.

He said they knew the first dawn mass has always the biggest crowd, but they didn’t expect it would be that big yesterday, especially at the Basilica del Santo Niño.

But Joy Tumulak of the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) said the traffic lasted only 30 minutes after the mass and the crowd dispersed quickly.

Tumulak said there were at least two Citom personnel deployed in every church. He said they will monitor the crowd and may deploy additional personnel if needed.

Yesterday, the CCPO held a conference with station chiefs.

Santander said that during their planning early this month, they agreed to deploy four police personnel per church.

But with the huge crowd yesterday, they might have to add more personnel.

He said they did not receive any report of crime.

“Despite the thick crowd, we hope it’s smooth sailing every dawn mass,” he said. (Joyse E. Almojallas, USJ-R Mass Com Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 17, 2013.

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