In Nepal, Catholics reach out to remote areas devastated by quake

Students from St. Xavier's College volunteer in the Kathmandu Valley to help with rubble removal and talking about sanitation and hygiene with people living in tents after the earthquake. (Courtesy of Nepal Jesuit Society)

Good Shepherd Sr. Taskila Nicholas was one of the people in Nepal who did not feel the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked the country April 25. She was on a bus from Pokhara to Kathmandu to inaugurate her congregation's newest satellite community.

"We didn't feel anything because we were on a big bus," she told Global Sisters Report in Kathmandu on Tuesday. "People started calling passengers on the bus to ask, 'Are you alive?' That's how we heard about the earthquake." She was about 60 miles from the epicenter.

The bus pulled over, and people began to notice clouds of dust and debris coming down to a river. But from the road, the passengers couldn't see any destruction. So they continued on their way to Dhading, the last big city before Kathmandu.

"As we got into Dhading we could see that things had fallen, that schools and buildings had come down," Nicholas said. "We didn't really understand how big it was. But then we saw people crying, and bodies laid out in the road waiting to be taken to the hospital. They were bleeding and had broken bones."

"This was a spiritual experience for me, I understood that God really wanted me to serve the people in Kathmandu," said Nicholas, who said she loved living in Pokhara and was nervous about the move. "It really was a miracle. The road from Pokhara to Kathmandu is a mountain on one side and a river on the other. Who knows what could have happened ... but Jesus said, 'Even if you walk in the dark valley, I am with you.' I really felt Jesus was driving the vehicle."

The Good Shepherd Sisters are coordinating with the Salesian brothers and sisters, Caritas, the Sisters of the Congregation of Jesus, and the Nepal Jesuit Society, among others, for a unified Catholic response to the earthquake.

Read the full story at Global Sisters Report.

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