Cardinal Brady to celebrate Mass for people suffering in the Philippines and in Syria

15 Nov 2013

Cardinal Brady to celebrate Mass for people suffering in the Philippines and in Syria

“The Philippines is a country close to the hearts of many Irish people, not least through the work of Irish missionary priests, religious and lay people.  The large Filipino community in Ireland has a special place in our parishes” – Cardinal Brady

A special collection will be taken up this weekend at Masses across      Ireland in response to the humanitarian crises in the Philippines, Syria      and Middle East region

Ahead of a special collection at Masses across Ireland this weekend, Cardinal Seán Brady has contacted Archbishop Jose Palma, President of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines, to express his sympathy and that of the entire Catholic community in Ireland to the Filipino people as they recover from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan which ripped through central Philippines six days ago.  So far the human cost of this typhoon is put at in excess of 2,300 deaths whilst millions have been displaced.  Cardinal Brady will offer Mass for the people of the Philippines in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, at 11:00am this Sunday and all are invited to attend.  The Mass will also be offered for suffering Christians in Syria and in the wider Middle East.  Please see Cardinal Brady’s letter to Archbishop Jose Palma below for publication.

Please see a video interview with Mr Éamonn Meehan, Director of Trócaire, who explains the role of the Church’s aid agency in these humanitarian crises, and the related collection for Syria and Philippines which takes place at Masses over this weekend (16 and 17 November).  This video is available on

This special collection this weekend is also in support of the humanitarian work undertaken by Trócaire in Syria.  This collection will be used to support relief in Syria and to alleviate the plight of Christians in the wider Middle East.  The suffering of the Syrian people has been enormous: an estimated 4.25 million people are internally displaced in Syria, while more than 2.1 million have either registered as refugees or are waiting to register in the surrounding region.  To date Trócaire has been able to provide aid to over a quarter of a million people in the region.  Trócaire is supporting Caritas partners in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Syria to deliver emergency aid to people who need it most.  This aid includes the distribution of food, blankets, clothes, medicine and psycho-social support to people who have been forced to abandon their homes, as well as providing education to children who have been forced out of school.  Trócaire intends to continue to work with its Caritas partners in the region to deliver this much-needed aid to people suffering from continued conflict in Syria.

After prayers at his weekly public audience in Saint Peter’s Square on Wednesday last, Pope Francis renewed his appeal for an end to the tragedy in Syria and he also mentioned the suffering Philippine people.  The Holy Father said “It is with great sadness that I have learnt of the mortar attack two days ago in Damascus in which several children were killed on the way home from school, along with the driver of their bus.  Other children were injured.  Please, let us pray with all our strength that these tragedies may never again happen!  In these days we are praying and uniting our strength to help our brothers and sisters in the Philippines, struck by the typhoon.  These are the real battles that must be fought.  For life, never for death!”



Archbishop Jose S. Palma,Crest


Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines,

P.O. Box 3601,

Manila 1076,


13 November 2013

Dear Archbishop Palma,

As President of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, I write to offer the sympathy of the Catholic people of Ireland to all those who are affected by the terrible typhoon which struck your country over the past weekend and caused so many deaths and injuries and so much destruction. The entire Catholic community here in Ireland is spiritually close to you at this time and to all who have been affected by this terrible disaster. I assure you of our on-going prayers.

The loss of so many lives, together with the shocking destruction of homes and livelihoods, has touched our hearts. We express our deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones and we offer prayers for those who have died and for those who have been injured.

At the same time, the compassionate and courageous efforts by so many to assist with the rescue and recovery in the aftermath of the destruction and to reach out towards neighbours who are grieving or in need, is a powerful witness to Christ’s presence, even in your darkest hour.

We also ask God to grant courage and healing to those who have been injured or traumatized by these awful events; prayers have been offered in Catholic schools and parishes throughout Ireland for the people of the Philippines. May God bless all those who are involved in the relief efforts and those who are ministering to the injured and the bereaved.

The Philippines is a country close to the hearts of many Irish people, not least through the work of Irish missionary priests, religious, and lay people. The large Filipino community in Ireland has a special place in our communities and parishes. The forthcoming 51st International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu is an event that so many Irish people look forward to and pray for its success. At this challenging time in your history, please know that there is much support and goodwill towards you from this country.

With renewed sentiments of solicitude, I remain,

Yours sincerely in Jesus Christ,

Cardinal Seán Brady

Archbishop of Armagh

Notes to Editors

  • Cardinal Seán Brady is Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland and President of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference
  • The Missionary Society of  Saint Columban (Columban Fathers) are based in Dalgan Park, Navan, Co      Meath.  Since 1929 they have had a long association with the Philippines.  There are forty Columban Fathers in the Philippines and  also 10 lay missionaries.  The Columban Missionaries were not affected by the typhoon but there were some side effects in areas which are ministered by Columban Missionaries.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678