More than 1,500 members of Edmonton's Catholic Filipino community gathered for a special mass Wednesday night, four days since the largest storm ever to make landfall swept away the lives of families and friends back home.

More than half the people at the service knows someone personally affected by Typhoon Haiyan, organizers said.

"When you watch the television you just have to ... you cry," Gregoria Japas. "It's just heartbreaking to see children suffering."

The community is raising money to help with the relief effort in the Philippines.

They're urging all Edmontonians to donate money.