Fr. Alberto HUAMÁN, General Councillor for Latin America, has sent us some news about Puerto Rico. Let us remember that this country, an island in the Caribbean, for the second time this year has been hit by a hurricane. The first was Hurricane Irma which did not do much damage, but this recent one, Hurricane Maria, has done a lot of damage. The Oblates who work in the mission are Frs. Neal MACAULAY and Mariano MARTÍNEZ.
Fr. Mariano writes: “We are relatively well; we’re tired and we cannot sleep. There is looting and delinquency. The foundations of the school and the parish have been damaged. There is much desolation and fear; everything has fallen apart: none of the systems are working at all – health, transportation, electricity, water, etc.
“Our house has survived: some doors went flying and the wind and water came in. We were swimming in our beds. But all is fine. The people in general are distressed and crying; they tell us they have never seen anything like this. The violence is coming from some who are desperate for water and food. Four days have gone by and the situation is becoming oppressive. The government is doing what it can and it is obvious, but the emergencies are bigger than it can handle. There are people without means of communication and dams are breaking, endangering towns that have to be evacuated. Patients are being transferred from collapsed hospitals. The governor is a young man who is working hard. Many, many months will pass before things return to a semblance of normalcy. Many young people are migrating and abandoning the country.”
We ask all of us continue to accompany them in prayer and in whatever solidarity we can.