Family turns to faith, rebuilds life after bushfire

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 15 2009 01:00 PM | Updated as of Apr 15 2009 09:05 PM

Family turns to faith, rebuilds life after bushfire 1

Irene and Joe Celerio

The recent bushfires in Victoria, Australia was tragic for most families, but it was an opportunity for many to strengthen their faith.

Devout Catholics Irene and Joe Colerio's faith was put under extreme test when they became victims to the recent bushfires that ravaged the town of Wandong and other parts of Victoria on February 6.

In spite of all the ordeals that they are going through, the Colerio’s belief in God and Mother Mary grew stronger.

“We pray every night. We say the rosary and we had lots of Filipinos here and we had a mass,” said the Colerio’s youngest son Ariel.

Recently, a thanksgiving mass was hosted by the Colerio’s at the very home that was left standing in the middle of the 600-acre property that was ravaged by fire.

"Thanksgiving…I just can’t believe were still here," said Irene Colerio.

Things are much easier for the Colerio’s to accept because of the tremendous support they got from their friends and community.

Like most Filipino gatherings, friends were around to extend a helping hand. Amazed by the resilience of the family, some people came even if they do not know them personally.

"I want to see these people and to support them and to get some information about what they have experienced,” said Bernadette Miranda.

A jar was passed around for anyone who wishes to give donation, and it did not take long for the jar to be filled.

The family is grateful too that their lives were spared from the tragedy. They are also thankful to all their friends and community members who have extended all the help that they can. Carmela Trinidad-Sison, ABS-CBN Australia News Bureau