Following two major earthquakes, the Anglican Church of Mexico’s Diocese of Cuernavaca seeks prayers as it provides relief to those most affected by the tremors.

While Mexico City received wide media attention following the quakes, clergy in that city expressed concern to TLC [TLC, Oct. 9] that harder-hit areas in the Diocese of Cuernavaca had escaped mention.

The Diocese of Cuernavaca extends across the states of Morelos, Guerrero, and Puebla. The church there found itself in the midst of a great deal of destruction, with “serious material damages, loss of human life, and great desolation in each of these places,” the Rt. Rev. Enrique Treviño Cruz, Bishop of Cuernavaca, told TLC by email in Spanish.

“The day after the earthquake we opened a collection center in the diocesan office building, with a great response from lay people, friends, and neighbors. The youth have been tireless, supportive, and generous from day one. With some cash donations we bought and delivered cots, tarpaulins, as well as provisions, toiletries, clothes, and tools.”

This aid, Cruz said, has targeted Coatetelco, Miacatlán, El Yeso, and Tetecala in Morelos. “The Villages of Pilcaya and Ixcamilpa, located in the Sierra de Puebla, are seriously affected and hardly receive help because of the distance; thus, that’s where we’ve taken the most support and comfort.”

Damage at Santa Catarina in Jojutla.

Cruz said six diocesan churches were damaged in the quake, with considerable damage to the Temple of St. John the Theologian, the Temple of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Temple of St. Caroline, and Holy Trinity Temple. In addition, a family from St. John’s and congregants from St. Catarina-Jojutla now find themselves homeless.

“Many communities have been physically destroyed, and the death of friends, neighbors, and coworkers has left a great sadness and an atmosphere of desolation,” the bishop said. Nevertheless, “a great, unequaled human movement full of solidarity, brotherhood, fraternity and love of neighbor” has also emerged following the quakes.

While efforts to rebuild and repair began, some congregations began celebrating the Eucharist in homes, Cruz said. Material aid is needed — building materials, tarpaulins, tents, tools, blankets to shelter, food — but so is spiritual and emotional assistance. Cruz is also seeking funds to rebuild homes lost by four families in total.

“Anglicans in the world can help by remaining united in prayer for those who have lost almost everything, for the strength that is needed to rebuild structures, but especially for strength of the spirit,” he said. “And give thanks to God when they awaken to the light of a new day.”

Matthew Townsend

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