Typhoon hits close to home for local priest

By The Compass | November 13, 2013

Fr. Balbero, Filipino priest serving in Appleton, says family is safe

ALLOUEZ — The hometown of Fr. Rene Balbero, parochial vicar at St. Bernadette Parish, Appleton, was among the communities in the path of Super Typhoon Haiyan. The typhoon’s destructive winds and 15-foot high storm surge ravaged communities and scattered bodies throughout parts of the Philippines Nov. 8.

Fr. Rene Barbaro
Fr. Rene Balbero

Fr. Balbero, one of three priests from the Missionaries of Faith, Philippines Province, serving in the Diocese of Green Bay, reported that his family in Cebu had survived the typhoon, but houses were completely destroyed and they were left without food, water and other basic needs.

In a message to Fr. Tom Long, vicar for ministers for the Green Bay Diocese, Sunday evening, Nov. 10, Fr. Balbero added, “The roads are impassable, but hopefully somebody from the government or kind-hearted people will come to their rescue.”

In a phone interview with The Compass Nov. 12, Fr. Balbero said that Catholic Relief Services was at work in the Philippines. An uncle in Tacloban, who was missing when Fr. Balbero first contacted his family, had been found.

“They will start to rebuild as soon as possible,” said Fr. Balbero. “Cebu is in the northern part of the country and it was hit hard.” Collections have been organized in support of victims in the Philippines. Fr. Balbero is thankful for the support, but said, “I’m not good at asking people for help. I ask for their prayers.”

Parishes to hold second collections Nov. 23, 24

Bishop David Ricken has requested that a special second collection be held at weekend Masses, Nov. 23 and 24, at all diocesan parishes. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) officials have committed $20 million in emergency aid for survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan. These funds will be used to support the efforts of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and CRS to respond to the immediate emergency need for water, food, shelter and medical care, and assist in the long-term recovery from the disaster.

In addition to the collection in parishes, donations are being taken online at http://crs.org. Donations also can be sent to CRS, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD., 21297-0303 or via phone by calling 877-435-7277.

Fr. Judah Pigon, parochial vicar at St. Mary and St. Francis Xavier parishes, De Pere, and Fr. Ricardo (Ric) Basquinez, parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish, Greenville; St. Edward Parish, Mackville; and St. Nicholas Parish, Freedom, are also from the Missionaries of Faith, Philippines Province. Their families are located in a region of the island country that was spared from the heavy devastation of the typhoon.

Related Posts

Scroll to Top