December 20, 2013

Archdiocesan Catholics donate $171,000 to typhoon relief effort

By John Shaughnessy

Catholics in the archdiocese have donated more than $171,000 to help people in the Philippines whose lives were devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8.

The donations have continued pouring in ever since Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin announced that there would be a special second collection at churches in the archdiocese, starting on the weekend of Nov. 16-17.

“It’s just another example of the generosity of people in the archdiocese,” said Father Gerald Kirkhoff, director of the archdiocesan Mission Office. “That’s a significant amount of money.

“It says that Catholics have a vision of need that’s not just for people in the archdiocese, but for their brothers and sisters around the world.”

People in the Philippines are still recovering from one of the strongest storms in history. Nearly 6,000 people are dead and more than 1,700 are missing because of the storm that devastated towns and villages in the central Philippines, according to the Associated Press.

The generosity that archdiocesan Catholics have shown concerning the Philippines’ relief effort reflects a common desire to offer assistance that directly helps people, according to Father Kirkhoff.

“To me, it says a lot that Catholics like the person-to-person response of their gifts,” said Father Kirkhoff, who is also pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in Indianapolis. “It’s the feeling of one person helping another person.”

Father Kirkhoff saw that same spirit of giving on a recent evening when he was approached by a member of Good Shepherd Parish.

“He gave me a $1,000 in cash and said, ‘Father, use it for the poor,’ ” Father Kirkhoff said. “I plan to give most of it to St. Vincent de Paul Society because of the good work they do.” †

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