By Sarah Mac Donald - 10 January, 2016
The Apostolic Vicar of Nepal has written to the Diocese of Meath to thank the faithful there for their generous donation of €63,625 which was raised to help the victims of last April and May’s devastating earthquakes.
Over 9,000 people were killed and countless families were left homeless and destitute as housing and infrastructure were destroyed.
Writing to Bishop Michael Smith, Bishop Paul Simick said the people of Nepal had seen many deaths and disasters but had also witnessed the struggle and determination to rise from the ruins.
“Yes, the victims of earthquakes are still living in temporary shelters but not afraid and discouraged. Yes ‘we are afflicted in every way possible, but we are not crushed’ [2 Cor. 4:7],” he quoted.
Faith, hope and love growing in the face of the grievous pain of loss, “encourages us to strive for the same remarkable and unconditional commitment to God’s providence; to the God who from all bad things has the power to bring out good,” he said.
Continuing, Bishop Simick underlined that God has the power to bring good out of “suffering wrought by a massive cataclysmic disaster” and he said the people of Nepal had seen God’s love for all humanity “in the human response to the earthquakes”.
“We all experienced that the presence of God’s power and goodness working mysteriously in and through us in many different ways. So, we all have a reason to thank God,” he wrote.
In his letter to Bishop Smith, he thanked the people of the parishes of Meath “wholeheartedly” for reaching to “those are in dire in need” and for their “generous support and interest in our apostolic works here in this Himalayan nation of the Lord’s Vineyard”.
He told Dr Smith that a press reporter had recently asked him, “What impact does the festival of Christmas have on the Nepali Christians this year? Is your Christmas a bleak one?”
To which Bishop Simick responded, “Bleak Christmas! No way!” Christmas can never be bleak to those who believe what happened on the first Christmas night. The angel announced to the shepherds out in the field: ‘I bring you good tidings of great joy for all people’.”
He added, “If we strongly believe what God said to us we will never have bleak Christmas because he comes to us where we live and how we live.”