03 October 2009


Disasters are news until you see some of their effects in person.

Saturday Mass today - in the nuns' convent chapel, since they are in process of tearing down our church to build a new one (we will have Sunday Mass in the church hall for a year, I think) - and Father Ikenasio is saying Mass.

Father is from Samoa - and I had been told that some members of his family had been lost in the tsunami.

It is still news - until Father came into the chapel this morning. I remembered, then, but still didn't think too much of it. Father was a little hesitant at first. A little slow off the mark. A little ... shaky.

A sudden intake of breath - and he apologised to us.

Father's homily consisted only in thanking us for our prayers and concern. He has not been able to get much in the way of details, but Susan tells me that so far he has been told that seven family members are dead. They are all on his father's side (his father and mother are safe) - and he has not been able to get information about his mother's family. Many dead were people - young children, often - who were sleeping in communal houses near the sea - swept out to sea.

I don't watch television, nor listen to the radio, or I suppose I would have been bombarded by these images since the disaster happened on Tuesday last. Seeing Father today... well, I don't know what to say, but to pray.

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