While the world looked on in horror, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck Japan on March 11, triggering a huge tsunami that flooded villages and and wiped coastal towns off the map. Even as Japan struggles to recover, the worst is not over as the nation battles to prevent a nuclear catastrophe and to care for millions of people without power or water in the country’s worst crisis since World War II.
Yesterday, the Jesuits in the U.S. received word from the head of the Jesuits in Japan, Jesuit Father Kajiyama Yoshio, that the Jesuit men and their works there were not seriously affected. The Jesuits here and across the globe continue to pray for the victims of this disaster and for all those providing rescue, relief and support to those impacted by this crisis. For the Jesuits in Japan, they “hope for the best but prepare for the worst”, said Fr. Yoshio in his letter.
The Jesuits in Japan have received many emails from Jesuits and friends around the world offering condolences and asking for updates and how they can help. They have advised that donations should be directed to Caritas International, the social service arm of the Church that responds with food and other assistance. Here in the United States, Catholic Relief Services is organizing donations which will be directly funneled to Caritas. CRS also stands poised to assist Caritas Japan with disaster relief.
The Jesuits’ prayers remain with the people of Japan as they struggle through this difficult time.