Dear Brothers and Sisters:
On Monday, February 6, we woke up to the sad news of the catastrophe caused by a strong earthquake in Turkey and Syria. At the time of writing this letter, more than 8.000 people have already died, but we all know that unfortunately these figures will be multiplied many times over. A historic catastrophe aggravated by the low temperatures that all the homeless and those who are helping in the rescue work are facing. In addition to the drama of the families who have lost their loved ones, there is also the drama of those who have seen their entire lives reduced to ruins and rubble.
I think we can spare ourselves the sentimental speeches because the images that the media offer us in real time are shocking enough to understand that all kinds of help are urgently needed. Therefore, through these lines I come to ask the whole Augustinian Recollect family: religious, nuns, sisters, fraternities, RAY/JAR, Mothers of St. Monica, etc. to pray for the victims and those affected by the earthquake. I also ask that as far as possible, both the religious communities and our parish and/or educational communities collaborate economically to alleviate in some way the drama that our brothers in Turkey and Syria are living.
ARCORES International has immediately set to work and offers a concrete way to collaborate: an account number to which we can send our contributions and that together with those of other humanitarian institutions will be sent to their destination. Account Number: ES57 0075 0241 4406 0086 0510
In the same way we offer you a prayer so that we can raise it from our communities and ministries to the God whom we call Father and who makes us brothers in Christ to all men.
Our Father, you are our strength in adversity.
We pray to you, through your Son Jesus Christ,
for all those affected by the earthquake that has devastated the lands
of Turkey and Syria.
May all those affected feel your closeness,
and your protection in the midst of pain.
Embrace them with your tenderness and kindness.
Comfort all those who have lost their loved ones,
comfort those who have seen their homes and their lives
transformed into ruin and destruction.
And to the departed, welcome them into the peace of your Kingdom.
Move our hearts to solidarity.
Protect and care for all those who collaborate in the rescue work.
Make us, Lord, builders of fraternity and brotherhood,
through the intercession of the Virgin Mary
and with our generosity,
may a new society be rebuilt and raised up,
that only trembles and shudders,
Lord, before the mystery of Your immense love.
May the Lord bless us with his peace.
Rome, February 8, 2023
Fr. Miguel Ángel Hernández OAR