The Catholic University of America

Nov. 14, 2013 

Students Respond to Typhoon with Prayer

Filipino Group Helps Organize Mass and Bilingual Rosary

  > View ABC7 news coverage of the Mass

Though some are still waiting to hear from family members in the areas hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan, members of FOCUS (the Filipino Organization of Catholic University Students) gathered in Caldwell Chapel last night with other members of the CUA community to offer prayers in solidarity for the people of the Philippines. (Read more about our students' response here.)

The chapel was filled with about 100 worshipers. Among those at the Mass was President John Garvey and his wife, Jeanne. President Garvey spoke briefly at the beginning of the Mass, which was celebrated by Rev. Justin Ross, O.F.M. Conv., associate campus minister.

  André de la Paz, vice president of FOCUS and a junior nursing major, prays for his family and friends in Tacloban.

“We may not be able to travel the distance to physically help with the relief efforts in the Philippines,” he said in his homily. “We may not be able to help rebuild, to clear roads of debris, to help loved ones separated from family members be reunited, and we may not be able to perform the great work of mercy in burying the dead, but we can certainly join in prayer and solidarity with the people of the Philippines who have been impacted by this tragedy.

“And we can also be in solidarity and support with those members of our University community who have friends and family members in the Philippines as well.”

Following the Mass, about 30 students remained in the chapel for a bilingual rosary service. Students and University staff led each prayer in the Tagalog language, while those gathered responded in English.

The back of the worship aid handed out at Mass offered opportunities for the University community to help in relief efforts including:

  • A benefit recital performed by Jacqueline Ecle, junior music education major, on Saturday, Nov. 16, at noon in St. Vincent’s Chapel
  • A bake sale hosted by FOCUS in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center Nov. 14, 15, 18, and 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information on CUA’s response to the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, visit




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