Malden, Mass. church prays for Philippines

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November 10, 2013, 5:49 pm
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(NECN: Mike Cronin, Malden, Mass.) - Typhoon Haiyan's winds have slowed dramatically, but it is believed to be the worst storm ever to hit the Philippines.

At least 300 people are confirmed dead, but that number is expected to soar; officials in one city say the death toll could top 10,000 people.

Many in New England are waiting to hear from loved ones in the Philippines to see if they survived the disaster.

St. Joseph Parish in Malden, Mass. prayed for the Filipino community Sunday. Churchgoers are feeling sadness after watching the typhoon leave behind chaos.

"No words can describe," said Theodore Belizario of Quincy. "We're in shock, we're terrified."

St. Joseph's is home to a large amount of the Filipino Catholic community, including Teodoro Parena, originally from the Philippines.

Parena's hometown was directly hit by the storm.

"I haven't talked to my mother yet, who is there. I haven't talked to my brother and my sister," said Parena. "I haven't talked to any member of my family."

He is hoping to contact his family Sunday night, as cell phone service is finally returning to the area. Parena says that the experience has been a nightmare.

"I have two sleepless nights, trying to connect to our folks back home," he said.

In a time of despair, Parena and others are turning to faith.

"Faith is so fundamental to the Filipinos," said Father Cyriac Mattathilanickal. "For them to gather in the midst of this suffering is something very natural for them. That's the first thing they will do."

Tags: massachusetts, st. joseph's, Quincy, Philippines, typhoon, Malden, Mike Cronin, Typhoon Haian, St. Joseph Parish, Theodore Balizario, Teodoro Parena, Cyriac Mattathilanickal
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