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Concern is growing for the safety of one of the chaplains to the Filipino community in London who was in the Philippines during the storm caused by last weekend’s typhoon.
Fr Cirino Potrido, who works in the Archdiocese of Westminster and had flown to the country for a pre-arranged visit, is from the island of Cebu, which has been devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
“I am worried because I haven’t heard anything from him,” said Fr Jake Dicto, a fellow Filipino chaplain based in the Archdiocese of Southwark. “No one has heard from him. He is from Cebu and the northern part has been badly affected.”
Fr Jake, a Scalabrini Father, said that a Mass organised with the Filipino Embassy in London for typhoon victims was to take place today at the Holy Redeemer Church in Kennington, south London.
The collection taken at the Mass will go to those affected by the storm: initial reports say that thousands have been killed and as many as 11 million severely affected, with many seeing their homes destroyed.
Fr Jake said a number of the Filipino community in London had not heard from relatives and were anxious for news.
On Friday, a Mass was to be said at Westminster Cathedral for the storm victims and was announced on Tuesday in a statement by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. It said that Cafod is organising an emergency collection in parishes for those affected by the typhoon.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, president of the bishops’ conference, said: “many parishes benefit from the lively faith and contribution of the Filipino community and we all benefit from their significant contribution to hospitals and the caring services in this country. Now, in their hour of need, we must support them.”