In the aftermath of 6.5 quake and its aftershocks

TACLOBAN CITY- The 6.5 magnitude earthquake and the more than 300 aftershocks that followed, the strongest was a 5.4 magnitude, that hit Leyte has resulted for Churches within the Archdiocese of Palo to offer ‘oratio imperata.’
At the Sto. Niño Parish, churchgoers prayed the oratio after the post-communion prayer during last Sunday (July 16) mass.
Oratio imperata is a prayer for special intention like deliverance from a natural calamity like typhoon or earthquake.
The Palo archdiocese had earlier offered the same after the Leyte and other parts of the region were hit by almost successive calamities.
The last one was when Leyte was threatened by a typhoon at a time that Pope Francis was to visit Tacloban last January 17, 2015.
The oratio, which was prayed this July in the parish before the start of the weekday and Sunday masses, was prayed this Sunday within the mass, following a short film -showing on the destruction of the environment and how the parishioners can help heal Mother Earth.
This July, the SNP is observing the Environment Month, like it did last year, spearheaded by the Parish Commission on Social Action.
Besides the continued recitation of the oratio, the parishioners, particularly the parish church volunteers, will be doing civic activities.
This week, the parishioners will join mangrove-planting and clean-up drive in two coastal barangays in the parish.
These activities in observance of the Parish Environment Month are a carryover of last year’s parish pastoral plan, according to SNP vicar Eugene Almamento.
“We parishioners have the responsibility to one another but much more also to the environment entrusted to us by God,” he said.
He stressed that the parishioners should be the one to take the initiative to take care of Mother Earth, not to pollute it.
According to Almamento, the parish is also planning to organize a forum within the church compound on Laudato Si, particularly on Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for the environment.
Almamento also emphasized the need for the people to take on the challenge of caring for and rehabilitating the environment not just on special occasion like this but all-year-round.
This advocacy, he said, “must create in us the consciousness that we should continue this cause and make preservation of Mother Nature a part of our system for the future of our next generation.”
“We need to protect and develop what God has entrusted to us and thank him for his creation,” Almamento said.
Meantime, the SNP joins the Archdiocese of Palo Rescue and Rehabilitation Unit (Caritas Palo) in raising funds to help the victims of the July 6 and July 10 quakes in Leyte with epicenter in Jaro and Ormoc City, respectively.
About 579 families in Barangay Tongonan whose houses were totally damaged, need the assistance; another 232 families in Lake Danao; 25 in Brgy. Milagro; 6 in Brgy. Cabintan; and 2 in Brgy. Baging.
Meanwhile, 121 families in Lake Danao whose dwellings were partially damaged also need help; 135 in Brgy. Cabintan; and 42 in Brgy. Baging.
Donors are encouraged to deposit their fund assistance to the Metrobank account of the Archdiocese of Palo Sto. Niño Parish. (EILEEN N.BALLESTEROS)