News received from Chile regarding Feb. 27 earthquake
Sent by email March 2 to General Superior Kathryn Rutan and the General Council
We hope you are all doing well. Receive our greetings and gratitude for each of your gestures of affection and support in these times of sorrow.
It was not easy to find an internet connection, so communication with you has been slow. But thank God, we could finally reach you by phone. I can confirm that all our sisters are safe and sound, as well as the elderly and children in our residences. Unfortunately, we have no news of the sisters’ relatives and we are making every effort to contact them. We have had no further contact with our sisters in Concepcion. This is why Sister Cristina Urbina and Sister Marcia Gatica will go to Concepcion next Thursday to bring food and water to the sisters, their families, and others they can help.
The tragedy of the strongest earthquake ever recorded and the ensuing tsunami affected most of Chile including the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Regions as well as the Metropolitan area. Unfortunately, the situation has further deteriorated by an outburst of disorder among the people, which adds to our sorrows and pain. We used to see Chile as a united nation that lives in solidarity. But now we can see a group of people taking advantage of the sufferings of others. It tears our hearts apart and all we can do is ask God to strengthen each of our brothers and sisters who are victimized both by nature and persons who take advantage of tragic situations.
We ask you to continue to pray for Chile, and especially for a relative of Sister Natalia Barra, who has disappeared during the tsunami, and also that we may soon contact the families of our sisters of whom we have no news. We haven’t heard from Haid Forrestal and Gladys Neira who work with us and were vacationing with their families in the affected areas.
Well sisters, a large portion of Chile has been living a profound experience at this time of Lent. Just like Jesus, the people are crossing their own stretches of desert, solitude, hunger and many temptations. So let us pray that our Provident Father and the Mother of Sorrows grant them strength and faith to live through these trials with hope in the coming Resurrection.
With affection, we remain united in prayer.
Nancy Arevalo S., SP
Bernard Morin Province