photo courtesy of the Alcantara family
Among the news you won't read in the aftermath of the Typhoon Sendong, which hit southern and central Philippines over the weekend and killed as many as 1,000 souls, is the miraculous story of my brother's newborn nephew, Brennan Kyle Alcantara.
Brennan's mother, Christine, placed Brennan, just three weeks old, in a basin when flash floods hit their neighborhood in Dumaguete City, a provincial capital. Then, holding him above the flood waters in the basin, Christine swam to safety. She and the baby and her older son Brice are fine. Brice was put on the shoulders of a stranger and taken to safety. The family home, however, is full of mud and the furniture and all their belongings are gone. Christine's husband, Godofredo, is working as a cook on a freighter for the next year or so. He shipped out of Manila on December 2, a couple of days after Brennan's birth.
Here is a video clip of the flooding in the family's hometown.
I noticed on Christine's facebook page that she is devoted to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. I pray she is comforted by Her presence. If you are able, please donate to Catholic Relief Services' work in the Phillippines. Of all money raised, 95 percent goes directly to the people they serve. While some of us might not be able to donate money, all of us can pray, and ask our parish to include the people of the Philippines in their prayer intentions this weekend.
O Mother of Perpetual Help,
grant that I may ever invoke thy most powerful name,
which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying.
O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary,
let thy name henceforth be ever on my lips.
Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on thee,
for, in all my needs, in all my temptations I shall never cease
to call on thee, ever repeating thy sacred name,