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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Pinoys' Bayanihan Spirit at it's Best for Papal Visit

Volunteers are growing in numbers, some of them survivors of super-typhoon “Yolanda,” willing to give their time and meager resources to ensure the success of the visit of Pope Francis to the country next month.
“Many people are very willing to share. Even the survivors are donating. They said they have received a lot of blessings that they feel that it’s their time to share,” said Fr. Cris Militante, executive secretary of the Information and Media Committee for the Papal Visit in the Archdiocese of Palo.
Meanwhile, a lay Catholic group is working on an intricate chasuble, the outer garment that a priest wears at Mass, using the indigenous piña fabric that they will give to Pope Francis as a gift.
Ambassador Henrietta de Villa, national president of the Mother Butler Guild (MBG), said the cream-colored chasuble will be “plain and simple because the pontiff is a very simple person”.
Even the vestments that the MBG will be providing for the priests and bishops attending the Mass of the pontiff at the Manila Cathedral and Luneta in Manila are also going to be very simple. For the priests, she said, they are providing at least 4,000 stoles, the material worn by priests around their necks that hangs down in front. For the bishops, there will be 250 liturgical vestments and the mitre, the hat which is the most distinctive symbol of a bishop. De Villa said the color of the liturgical vestments will be off white.
In the past, the MBG also provided the liturgical vestments for many important celebrations for priests and bishops such as during the visit of then Pope and now St. John Paul II in 1981 and 1995, and the National Congress of the Clergy in 2004 and 2010 among others.
Pope Francis will say Mass for the priests, bishops and religious at the Manila Cathedral on January 16, 2015 while the Mass in Luneta will be held on January 18. 

Some of the donations that the parishes received for the papal visit, Fr. Militante said were even anonymous.
A group is sponsoring the video walls that will be used for the different papal activities in Leyte as well as the food that will be served to Pope Francis and the calamity victims.
The pontiff will have lunch with 30 Yolanda survivors and earthquake victims in Bohol at the Archbishop’s Residence on January 17.
A fast food chain has volunteered to sponsor the food of the crowd. “They asked us not to mention the name of the company anymore since they are doing this for the Pope,” he said.
In Manila, even the liturgical furniture that will be used in the different papal events such as the papal chair, altar table, among others, were manufactured free of charge by Engr. Robert Cruz of the Vitreartus Liturgical Arts.
“When we offered to do everything, we were not thinking of charging for it. It is more of giving back, to give our own share or contribute to the success of the papal visit,” said Cruz.
An ecclesiastical artist from Pampanga is also doing the religious images for the papal event, with an estimated value of more than half a million, free of charge.
“I asked them if it can be on loan only because I’m going to bring the images to my museum and they agreed,” Willy Layug said. He is making a life-size image of the Virgin Mary as well as of the crucified Christ among others.
Even the two Pope mobiles that the pontiff will be using during his visit to Manila and Leyte will come from a secret benefactor.
Fr. David Concepcion, executive secretary of the Committee on Transportation for the Papal Visit, declined to reveal the identity of the pope mobile’s creators, saying they prefer to remain anonymous. “This was done willingly, from the kindness of their hearts,” the priest said.
Earlier, Fr. Anton Pascual, chairman of the Papal Visit Media Relations Sub-committee, revealed that the church is already accepting donations for the papal visit.
“But it’s important that we follow the request of the Vatican not to make the visit expensive because the Pope wants the people to donate more for the victims of calamities,” he added.
The Church source had earlier said that they will limit the expenses for the visit to P70 million since the Pope himself requested that his visit be made pastoral and simple.
The apostolic visit will take place at a time when the local Church observes the Year of the Poor, the third of the nine-year era of New Evangelization that seeks to prepare the faithful for the fifth centenary of Christianity in the country in 2021.
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