Mass collections to assist cyclone victims in Bangladesh

Author: Michael O. Garvey


Collections for aid to the victims of the recent cyclone in Bangladesh will be taken up at all Masses in University of Notre Dame residence halls and in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Saturday and Sunday (Dec.1 and 2).

Rev. Richard V. Warner, C.S.C., director of Campus Ministry at Notre Dame, said that the proceeds from the collections would likely be forwarded to Catholic Relief Services to assist the victims of Cyclone Sidr.

I can think of no better way for us to prepare for the coming the Word Incarnate than to share our resources with brothers and sisters halfway around the world who are suffering so greatly at this time,Father Warner said.

The cyclone struck the low-lying southern coast of the already flood-stricken country Nov. 15 with 155 mph winds and a 16-foot tidal wave. It killed some 3,500 and left more than 2 million people homeless.

According to a report from the mission center of the Congregation of Holy Cross, whose members have served in the region for 150 years,the economy of Bangladeshnever very strongwas already reeling after several back-to-back floods this summer.Now several million people have lost their homes, livestock, and crops.Power lines are down, roads blocked, and trees uprooted everywhere.Thousands are living out in the open, on roads and higher ground.Food and drinking water are scarce, prices soaring, and though the government, army, and relief organizations are trying their best, it is very difficult to get through the rubble and devastation to such inaccessible areas.

According to local and U.N. officials, Bangladesh will need half a million tons of food aid by March 2008 even to partially offset the effects of these disasters.

_ Contact: Father Warner at 574-631-9704 or_ " "

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