The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines called on the Catholic faithful to do away with lavish Christmas parties in solidarity with the victims of typhoon “Odette” (international name: Rai).
Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, CBCP president, urged Catholics to instead set aside money for the devastated communities.
“Perhaps instead of spending a lot on lavish Christmas parties and exchange gifts, we can put together whatever we can and contribute it to relief operations,” said the prelate in a message on CBCP News.
The bishops’ conference has earlier declared December 25 and 26 as national days of prayer for the typhoon victims.
Dioceses are also encouraged to hold a second collection in all Masses on the said days for the Church’s relief operations led by Caritas Philippines.
The church’s humanitarian aid agency said at least 10 dioceses were heavily affected by the typhoon in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.
It also released an initial PhP3 million from its Alay Kapwa fund for the affected dioceses’ emergency relief operations.
Caritas Manila also provided an initial PhP2.5 million to help in the Church’s relief efforts.