Hundreds attend Typhoon Haiyan prayer vigil

About 200 people, including many from the local Filipino community, turned out for a prayer vigil at St. Teresa's Parish Thursday.
About 200 people attended a prayer vigil at St. Theresa's church on Thursday, including many people from the local Filipino community. (CBC)

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John's held a prayer vigil Thursday to support those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

About 200 people attended a the vigil at St. Teresa's Parish, including many from the local Filipino community.

Archbishop Martin Currie said he wants the Filipinos living in Newfoundland and Labrador to know they're not alone.

"You're our brothers and sisters. We understand what suffering is, what hardship is, and we want to respond as generously as we can to your needs at this time," he said.

The church raised almost $2,000 on Thursday for disaster relief.

Jona Farjardo, who was at the vigil, said her family is in the centre of the devastation. She said they've been hit before, but never this badly.

"They're not sure about the food. Everybody's hungry this time. So, I'm not sure what will happen to them because it's hard to contact them and talk to them," she said.

"They don't care about the house. They don't care if they have clothes – but they just need food and water. That's all they ask this time. Water is very important to them," she said.

​Farjado said the donations aren't reaching the Philippines fast enough.

Jona Farjado, whose family is in the centre of the devastation, says the Philippines has been hit before, but never this badly. (CBC)
"The worst thing this time is people start fighting each other and stealing just to survive."

Farjado said if more help doesn't arrive soon, her family and thousands of others in the Philippines may not survive.

Red Cross collecting donations

Meanwhile, the Red Cross in St. John's is seeing a steady flow of people dropping off donations.

Spokesperson Rhonda Kenney said the agency collected a huge amount of money just yesterday.

Red Cross spokesperson Rhonda Kenney says the agency has collected $25,000. (CBC)
"We've brought in close to $25,000," she said. 

"It's a combination of people coming into our office, people calling our office. So, the momentum is really starting to pick up, and the generosity of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians is really starting to pick up."

Kenney said more people are starting to help.

"There's a lot of groups and organizations that are really starting to get organized now to support the relief efforts," she said. 

"A number of the local restaurants across the province are helping out. There's been many school groups and many youth organizations that are helping out with this effort."


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