Wednesday, September 3, 2014
5 Bohol Quake Survivors to Dine with Pope
Who will dine with Pope Francis when he visits the country on January 15-19 next year, and what can we expect from the visit?
Less than five months away, the list of those who will be privileged to stand closest to him is shaping up. In one of the meals, places have been set for the five survivors of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol, according to Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso. The bishop was interviewed over Church-run Radyo Veritas yesterday.
Earlier, Palo Archbishop John Du revealed that Pope Francis will dine with 30 individuals composed of Super-Typhoon Yolanda and earthquake victims.
“He (Pope Francis) will be going to Palo (Leyte) and we will be sending some of my people there who were victims of the quake, five of them. They will eat with the Pope,” he said.
The Pope is expected to arrive in Tacloban City on Jan. 17, 2015. Pope Francis will be in the country from Jan. 15 to 19 after a visit to Sri Lanka.
Other than standing closer to the Pope, church officials expect that the visit will result in more religious vocations, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Culture (CBCP-ECC) said.
Sr. Mary Anthony E. Basa, CBCP-ECC executive secretary, said she is convinced that the Holy Father’s mere presence will give rise to a wave of vocations, inspiring many Filipinos to consider the religious life.
“I look forward to seeing a renewed interest in religious vocations,” she said in a CBCP News post.
“Being the Vicar of Christ, the Holy Father’s visit is going to be a grace-filled moment for us. Filipinos must take it as an opportunity to have a deeper faith and hope in God,” Basa added.
Basa reminds the faithful that Pope Francis’ visit is primarily about hope, charity and forgiveness, mercy and compassion offered to the millions of people experiencing social injustice, especially survivors of typhoon “Yolanda” and similar calamities.
She encourages Filipinos to prepare themselves spiritually for the apostolic visit, which according to her is an event that can strengthen the bonds of the Filipino family as well.
Bishop Medroso is hoping that the Holy Father would also visit Bohol even for a few hours only. “It is also my dream that he would come to Bohol, even for just one or two hours to counsel our people.” he said.
He revealed that 33 churches under his diocese were also ruined by the earthquake, which struck Central Visayas last year. This is aside from the 11 heritage churches.
Despite the situation, he said, the church continues to cater to the needs of the people as they were able to set-up alternative churches using tents where they temporarily hold their Masses.
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