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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Letter from Christchurch after the 7.2

We ask our readers to join us
in praying for the people of Christchurch who have been through a tremendous shock,
and especially in thanking God that there was nobody killed in the 7.2 earthquake
that struck the city in the early hours last Saturday morning.

The earthquake was the same magnitude as that which killed 200,000 people in Haiti
and left 2,000,000 homeless.

It is a great blessing that Christchurch escaped such a disaster
and that so many were saved from a sudden and unprovided death.

Here follows some homely news from Brother Xavier in Christchurch.
It was not intended for publication but it gives us a report of what he lived through.

Br. Xavier Maria, F.SS.R.
Reporting from Christchurch.

Laudetur Jesus et Maria semper Virgo!

Dear Rev.Father,

I hope you are all well at the Papa.

As for us here we are in one piece. The most damage to our property was the monastery chimney: some of the bricks fell off. Greg, Ben Price and Daniel came today and took the flue out, and some of the bricks that were still on the roof, and have covered the hole with a tarpaulin.

Most of the houses in St. Albans area had their brick chimneys damaged.

St. Alphonsus House sustained no damage except for a small statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel that broke in three.

In the Oratory the angels, candles and crucifix fell. The altar moved about 30cm to the left. The tabernacle was still on altar with the gradines, and Our Lord was safely in the ciborium still standing. The Infant of Prague fell and broke His hand holding the world. Our Holy Father St. Alphonsus didn't move as he is blue tacked to his pillar. Our Lady of Fatima fell, pillar and all. The only thing that smashed were glass vases with flowers. Our Lady was found on tile floor in the corner untouched. St.Joseph, at the entry of the Oratory, and not tacked down, didn't move nor were the flowers that were in front of him. The little statue of St. Jude did not fall either.

There is no damage to the Oratory building so far.

A lot of other areas were worse than us with the earth opening up, brick buildings falling down, smashed windows, crushed cars,water pipes damaged and so on. In some areas people have to evacuate their homes. Some of the CBD area has been cordoned off.

The Catholic Cathedral has smashed windows and cracks in the walls and the Cathedral now is not in use; Masses are being said in the presbytery.
As for us here, we still have Mass in our Oratory.............. tremors included.

We are expecting strong winds tonight and they say we could have another earthquake but are not sure. We have had over 20 tremors some reaching 4.9--5 on the scales.

Br. Paul Mary, F.SS.R.
...thinking it was only a tremour...

Fr. Clement and Br.Paul were in the monastery when the earthquake happened. I had just moved out, the day before, into the little hut across our "Little Tiber" river in the garden.
 Fr. Clement said it was like being on a ship in the rough seas, the monastery bell was ringing as well. Br.Paul woke from a deep sleep thinking it was only a tremor, as his sister had told him once of her experience in NZ during am earthquake, and how the people she had stayed with told her not to worry it's only a tremor and happens all the time!

I was on my bed saying a Hail Mary and if She didn't come to my aid I was in for a early morning swim, as there is nothing holding the little hut down. The night before as I was praying my night prayers I said my prayer to my gaurdian angel three or four times and I had wondered why?............

Father I hope and pray that your family are alright. I know they felt the shocks as far as Dunedin and to Wellington.

God bless Father, please pray for us.

Regards to Fr.Anthony and the Brothers,

Onwards from Pole to Pole!

Your devoted son
Br. Xavier Maria, F.SS.R

P.S. Will email you some more when I can as power could cut out at anytime.


Anonymous said...

Thank God, and pray God and Our Blessed Lady nothing worse is to follow.

Fr. Boyce

St. Jude Pray For Me said...

in comparision with the natural forces and the relentlessness of the events we can do nothing but hope and trust in God's Mercy.
My prayers are with the people of Christchurch and all the suffering brothers on earth.

With All Respect

Anonymous said...

May God bless and protect all in the F.SS.R community and parish in Christchurch. You are remembered daily in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

Apparently a bigger earthquake is expected to hit Wellington.

Many prayers for your community and i also pray that Fr Rizzo and his community are still in good health.

God Bless

Anne B said...

My prayers are with you all and with my late husband's cousins, Greg and Lesley Brook, of Christchurch.

May God continue to protect you as Nature groans around about you. May your beautiful city offer reparation to Almighty God. And may Our Lady's prayers rise unceasingly for all her children.

Joshua said...

I'm so glad all is well - I have very happy memories of visiting Christchurch, and meeting Fr Clement and Br Paul there, in May last year, and am most relieved that the church and mission there is safe.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your prayers. We are still experiencing some strong after shocks and have lost some beautiful old buildings but the fact that no one was killed is a miracle. The love, prayers and support of people all over the world means so much to us at this time.
God Bless

Coffee Catholic said...

I never even heard about this earthquake on the media. I had no idea Christchurch would have earthquakes. What an incredible blessing that no one was killed! We had a 7.2 quake in Alaska and I was surfing on the sidewalk and watching solid concrete buildings undulate around me. It's no joke and I thought I was a dead woman.

Holly Hall said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. I have just gotten back from summer vacation and the news is very sad. I'm just glad to hear no one was hurt, but also sad to hear of so many holy things destroyed. May Our Blessed Mother and her Spouse, St. Joseph, continue to watch over everyone.

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