20 September 2013
Dear Members of the Xavier Community,
We are all aware of the crisis that has enveloped the city of Zamboanga since September 9th. As of today, close to 90,000 people have either lost or left their homes and taken shelter in evacuation centers. Given the extent of damage to livelihood and property, it is clear that rehabilitation work will take time.
Let me quote “An Evening Prayer in Zamboanga City: A Prayer of Plea” written by Fr. Wilfredo Samson, S.J., OIC President of Ateneo de Zamboanga University:
But how could I sleep well? Knowing that after my good supper, many of the 88,000 evacuees – mostly children, women and old folks – will sleep with little food. I pray Lord, that more kind and generous people will donate rice, sardines, noodles, medicines and milk for children. How could I sleep well, knowing that there are still hostages out there, and their families cannot sleep well because of anxiety and helplessness?
Lord, we are so blessed with plenty, comfort and peace. We are so blessed – we have a safe home to stay in. We are so blessed – we have food to eat. We are so blessed – our life is not in danger. We are so blessed – we don’t live in fear and anxiety. I thank you Lord for these gifts. May these blessings inspire us to share our blessings to our unfortunate brothers and sisters affected by the crisis in Zamboanga City.
Lord, we do not know yet when this crisis will finally be over. We know it will take some time for Zamboanga City to return to its normal life. Many have lost their houses in the fire. Many have lost their loved ones in the crossfire. One innocent boy was even hit by a stray bullet in the evacuation center. Many students have lost their books and uniforms. Many have lots of bad stories to tell – and they are emotionally affected.
It is in this light that I ask the entire Xavier School community to join hands in helping our sisters and brothers in Zamboanga City. It is not too long since we launched relief operations for the victims of Typhoon Maring, but we cannot turn a blind eye when so many of our brothers and sisters are suffering.
From Monday, September 23 to September 26, Thursday, the school will accept donations in cash and in kind. Suggested donations in kind are clothes, rice, canned goods, instant noodles and detergent/ bath soap. These can be deposited at the school gym in the morning or during dismissal time. We will find a way to send these to Zamboanga. Cash and check donations (payable to Xavier School) will be accepted at the XSN Administrative Office. Kindly indicate “donation for Zamboanga” at the back of checks.
This effort is a meaningful way of celebrating the Chinese Moon Festival, a time of solidarity and reunion. I thank you in advance for your generosity.
Luceat Lux! Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
Fr Aristotle C. Dy, S.J.