The message below was sent by Fr Eamon Sheridan, a member of the General Council of the Missionary Society of St Columban, to leaders of the Columbans throughout the world.
We are all aware of the natural disaster that has hit Burma over the last few days. The enormous scale of the devastation and loss of life is only now becoming clear. In response to this terrible tragedy the General Council has authorized the bursar general to release US$100,000 from our fund for emergencies, to Karuna (Caritas) Myanmar to help them respond as best they can to the crisis.
Let’s keep that suffering nation in our prayers.
The Columbans have been involved in Burma for more than 70 years. The General Council of the Columbans recently moved from Ireland to Hong Kong.
This money is from our many supporters and benefactors throughout the world. As a Columban I am very grateful to all the people who have made our work of evangelization possible for the last 90 years.
'Karuna' means 'compassion. On 5 July 1996, during their ad limina visit, Pope John Paul II thanked the bishops of Myanmar for establishing Karuna: I am glad to know that, even without an abundance of material resources, the laity in your Dioceses generously devote themselves to the spiritual and corporal works of mеrсу, responding especially to the needs of orphans, the poor and the neglected. The establishment of Karuna Myanmar [Caritas] will give initiatives of solidarity a structure through which the various groups can work together more effectively for the well-being of all.
There are two Columban Priest Associates from Myanmar working in Peru, Fr Robert Khun and Fr Marino Nan Jha. Both prepared for their mission in the Philippines.