Catholics in the Archdiocese of Edmonton are responding to the unprecedented natural disaster in the Philippines with prayer and generosity.

Archbishop Richard Smith will preside at a special Mass in Solidarity with the People of the Philippines at 7 p.m. on Wednesday evening at St. Theresa's Parish, 7508 - 29 Avenue, Edmonton. The parish, one of the largest and most diverse in the Archdiocese, is home to a great many Filipino Catholics.

A collection will be taken at the Mass in support of relief efforts. Archbishop Smith has invited all Catholics to reach out to their Filipino brothers and sisters by donating to the Philippines emergency appeal of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.

The Philippines was struck by the worst disaster in its history on Friday, when super Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) ripped through the country.

It is estimated that over 9.5 million people are in need of aid across nine provinces, and that 600,000 people have been forced from their homes. The extent of the devastation wrought by the storm continues to be revealed.

Development and Peace has a long history of working in the Philippines and has already committed $100,000 to support relief efforts.

“This is a major humanitarian crisis and we foresee that the country will be recovering for a long time. We want to be there every step of the way in solidarity with those affected,” said Michael Casey, Executive Director of Development and Peace.

Caritas Nassa, one of Development and Peace’s main partners in the country, is already coordinating the distribution of food and shelter for victims of this catastrophe.

“It’s the first time the Philippines has experienced a disaster of this magnitude. The casualties are increasing day by day. There are dead bodies everywhere. People are traumatized. The most urgent needs are for food and water,” said Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Executive Secretary of Caritas Philippines-NASSA.

Development and Peace also has programs in Tacloban City in Leyte Province, one of the most affected areas, and has been in contact with its partners there to assess the needs and develop a response.

Donations made to Development and Peace for relief efforts are eligible for the matching fund program announced by the Canadian government.  Donations will be matched until December 9, 2013.

Donations can be made by telephone (1-888-664-3387), online at or by sending a cheque made out to Development and Peace and indicating Philippines Typhoon to:

Development and Peace
1425 René-Lévesque Blvd. West. 3rd Floor
Montreal  QC  H3G 1T7