In Manila: Filipinos waited to greet Pope Francis

Papal Visit Men Women rush NJ Viehland

Men, women rush to get a spot on an empty truck to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis as he goes from Villamor Airbase to the nunciature in Taft Avenue. NJ Viehland Photos

MANILA, PHILIPPINES Filipinos came in droves to line streets of Manila, where Pope Francis’ motorcade breezed through the 14 miles from Villamor Air Base to the nunciature on Taft Avenue.
The sidewalks beyond the barricades from the corner of Taft near the nuncio’s residence down Roxas Boulevard were teeming with people hours before the expected 5:45 p.m. landing of the plane that carried him from Sri Lanka.

Some people, like Gladys Silvano, told NCR she arrived at 3 a.m. It was her day off as a cashier in a restaurant, and she wanted to make sure she found a spot that would give her clear view.

There were no video screens installed in this part of the motorcade. See what they did in NCR Photo blog: Crowds greet Pope Francis in Manila  N.J. Viehland | Jan. 15, 2015

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Cardinal Lourdusamy, “bridge between India and Rome”

Lourdusamy to Puducherry The Hindu

The remains of Cardinal Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy now rest in his home diocese where Catholic and political leaders paid their respects to the first cardinal of Asia outside the Middle East to be appointed to serve in the Roman curia.

Cardinal Lourdusamy,‎ former prefect of the ‎Vatican Congregation for the Oriental Churches and former Archbishop of ‎Bangalore, passed away June 2 morning in a Rome clinic where he ‎had been hospitalized due to failing health, the Vatican announced. He was 90.

Father Albert Thambidurai, director of Pondicherry Multipurpose Social Service Society recognized Cardinal Lourdusamy’s participation in the Second Vatican Council  (Vatican II), the assembly convened by St. John XXIII that gathered more than 2,000 bishops, clergy, religious and lay people from around the world in Rome for discussions between 1962-1965 to settle doctrinal issues.

Through Cardinal Lourdusamy’s work, “He became a bridge between Rome and India,” The Hindu newspaper quotes Father Thambidurai.

Read full report here

Kodaikanal tribals pray for abducted Jesuit’s release – Matters India

Matters India photo published with permission
Matters India photo published with permission

A group of tribals joined NGO workers in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, to pray for the  release of a Jesuit priest who was abducted in Afghanistan.

Fr Alexis Prem Kumar, who is suspected to be in Taliban custody, had earlier worked in Kodaikanal to spread education among tribal people, reported mattersindia.com .  Unidentified gunmen took him into custody when he had gone to visit a school in Herat region of Afghanistan.

Volunteers at the mass prayer fondly remembered the 47-year-old priest’s dedication and commitment for the advancement of poor tribal people. The prayer was held at the unorganized sector workers’ union office in the hill station on Wednesday.

Read full report 

Kodaikanal is a city in the hills of the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India 

Father Kumar reportedly visited tribal communities there. Members of a settlement of about 40 families in Lower Kodaikanal spoke to Times of India about their shock over the news of abduction of  the  priest who has helped them.

Related posts

Afghanistan ‘sui iuris’ head appeals for silence, prayers for kidnapped Jesuit

Indian Jesuit kidnapped in Afghanistan – Matters India news service

 

 

 

 

Pope Francis Holy Land pilgrimage photos from former chaplain for Filipinos

Philippine-born Franciscan Fr. Angelo Beda Ison (front right), who had served for a decade as chaplain of the Filipino community in Israel, sent CiA this photo in which Franciscans presented a plaque to Pope Francis at the Franciscan convent of Casa Nova in Bethlehem where the pope had lunch with families from Palestine during his pilgrimage in the Holy Land on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras (May 24 – 26, 2014). - Photo published with permission.

Philippine-born Franciscan Fr. Angelo Beda Ison (front right), who had served for a decade as chaplain of the Filipino community in Israel, sent CiA this photo in which Franciscans presented a plaque to Pope Francis at the Franciscan convent of Casa Nova in Bethlehem where the pope had lunch with families from Palestine during his pilgrimage in the Holy Land on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras (May 24 – 26, 2014). – Photo published with permission.

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, beside the Church of the Nativity which is dedicated to the Child Jesus. Following is the full text of his homily published on Vatican Radio’s website

“This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Lk 2:12).

What a great grace it is to celebrate the Eucharist in the place where Jesus was born! I thank God and I thank all of you who have welcomed me on my pilgrimage: President Mahmoud Abbas and the other civil authorities; Patriarch Fouad Twal and the other bishops and ordinaries of the Holy Land, the priests, the good Franciscans, the consecrated persons and all those who labor to keep faith, hope and love alive in these lands; the faithful who have come from Gaza and Galilee, and the immigrants from Asia and Africa. Thank you for your welcome!

The Child Jesus, born in Bethlehem, is the sign given by God to those who awaited salvation, and he remains forever the sign of God’s tenderness and presence in our world. The angel announces to the shepherds: “This will be a sign for you: you will find a child…”.
Today too, children are a sign. They are a sign of hope, a sign of life, but also a “diagnostic” sign, a marker indicating the health of families, society and the entire world. Wherever children are accepted, loved, cared for and protected, the family is healthy, society is more healthy and the world is more human. Here we can think of the work carried out by the Ephpheta Paul VI institute for hearing and speech impaired Palestinian children: it is a very real sign of God’s goodness. It is a clear sign that society is healthier.

To us, the men and women of the twenty-first century, God today also says: “This will be a sign for you”, look to the child…
The Child of Bethlehem is frail, like all newborn children. He cannot speak and yet he is the Word made flesh who came to transform the hearts and lives of all men and women. This Child, like every other child, is vulnerable; he needs to be accepted and protected. Today too, children need to be welcomed and defended, from the moment of their conception.

Sadly, in this world, with all its highly developed technology, great numbers of children continue to live in inhuman situations, on the fringes of society, in the peripheries of great cities and in the countryside. All too many children continue to be exploited, maltreated, enslaved, prey to violence and illicit trafficking. Still too many children live in exile, as refugees, at times lost at sea, particularly in the waters of the Mediterranean. Today, in acknowledging this, we feel shame before God, before God who became a child.

And we have to ask ourselves: Who are we, as we stand before the Child Jesus? Who are we, standing as we stand before today’s children? Are we like Mary and Joseph, who welcomed Jesus and care for him with the love of a father and a mother? Or are we like Herod, who wanted to eliminate him? Are we like the shepherds, who went in haste to kneel before him in worship and offer him their humble gifts? Or are we indifferent? Are we perhaps people who use fine and pious words, yet exploit pictures of poor children in order to make money? Are we ready to be there for children, to “waste time” with them? Are we ready to listen to them, to care for them, to pray for them and with them? Or do we ignore them because we are too caught up in our own affairs?

“This will be a sign for us: you will find a child…”. Perhaps that little boy or girl is crying. He is crying because he is hungry, because she is cold, because he or she wants to be picked up and held in our arms… Today too, children are crying, they are crying a lot, and their crying challenges us. In a world which daily discards tons of food and medicine there are children, hungry and suffering from easily curable diseases, who cry out in vain. In an age which insists on the protection of minors, there is a flourishing trade in weapons which end up in the hands of child-soldiers, there is a ready market for goods produced by the slave labor of small children. Their cry is stifled: the cry of these children is stifled! They must fight, they must work, they cannot cry! But their mothers cry for them, as modern-day Rachels: they weep for their children, and they refuse to be consoled (cf. Mt 2:18).

“This will be a sign for you”: you will find a child. The Child Jesus, born in Bethlehem, every child who is born and grows up in every part of our world, is a diagnostic sign indicating the state of health of our families, our communities, our nation. Such a frank and honest diagnosis can lead us to a new kind of lifestyle where our relationships are no longer marked by conflict, oppression and consumerism, but fraternity, forgiveness and reconciliation, solidarity and love.

Mary, Mother of Jesus,
you who accepted, teach us how to accept; you who adored, teach us how to adore;
you who followed, teach us how to follow. Amen

*************

Pope Francis visited the West Bank city of Bethlehem May 25, the second day of his pilgrimage in the Holy Land. He paid a courtesy visit to President Mahmoud Abbas of the State of Palestine and addressed representatives of the Palestinian authority. Before noon, he said Mass for a throng of pilgrims in Manger Square in Bethlehem.

He had lunch with families from Palestine in the Franciscan convent of Casa Nova, before his private visit to the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Philippine-born Father Angelo Beda Ison (front left in cassock) was among religious who welcomed Pope Francis in the Franciscan convent in Bethlehem on the second day of the pope's May 24-26 pilgrimage in the Holy Land. Photo from Fr. Ison published with permission. - Catholic In Asia

Philippine-born Father Angelo Beda Ison (front left in cassock) was among religious who welcomed Pope Francis in the Franciscan convent in Bethlehem on the second day of the pope’s May 24-26 pilgrimage in the Holy Land. Photo from Fr. Ison published with permission. – Catholic In Asia

He proceeded to visit with children from Palestinian Refugee camps of Deheisheh, Aida and Beit Jibrin at the Phoenix Center of the Deheisheh Refugee Camp.

Pope Francis then visited Jerusalem on Monday, the last day of his pilgrimage. There he met with Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, Nobel Peace Prize Israeli President Shimon Peres and chief rabbis of Israel. Highlights of the pope’s activities on the final pilgrimage day are summed up here

 Related posts

Interreligious dialogue – Let a thousand documents now bloom in action!

Rocket fire fails to drive away Filipinos in Israel, so far

Other voices

Four goals of the papal visit to Holy Land

Filipinos remember Blessed John Paul II at Quezon City mall

 

Posters, booklets and other information on the Canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II are handed available to shoppers and passers-by at the Gateway Mall Araneta Center in Quezon City where Totus Tuus Group has set up an exhibit of JPII relics and memorabilia April 2-24. NJ Viehland Photos

Posters, booklets and other information on the Canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II are handed available to shoppers and passers-by at the Gateway Mall Araneta Center in Quezon City where Totus Tuus Group has set up an exhibit of JPII relics and memorabilia April 2-24. NJ Viehland Photos

 

Shopping at Gateway Mall, Araneta Center this week until the 24th of April, might be a bit crowded around the Oasis area. Totus Tuus group has set up a 50-piece exhibit of Blessed John Paul II’s relics and memorabilia there where people are milling around on foot or in wheelchairs.

Inquirer newspaper was there and talked to some of the faithful praying and writing notes to the late pope who is scheduled to be canonized in Rome with Blessed John XXIII on April 27. 

One of them, Christina Bisana, 28, stopped in after seeing the relics displayed in the middle of a bustling shopping mall in Quezon City on Thursday.

The single mother was just passing by Gateway Mall at Araneta Center on her way to Makati City on an errand when she saw the exhibit, part of the two-month “Totus Tuus” tour of the relics in the Philippines.

Here’s what Bisana prayed for at the prayer corner.

The exhibit caught my attention too. It included Pope John Paul II’s blood stain and hair strands

A woman touches the glass case holding Blessed John Paul II's hair strands (left gold frame) and a piece of cloth with his blood (right gold frame) as she prays at the Totus Tuus exhibit at Gateway Mall, Araneta Center up to April 24. N.J. Viehland Photo

A woman touches the glass case holding Blessed John Paul II’s hair strands (left gold frame) and a piece of cloth with his blood (right gold frame) as she prays at the Totus Tuus exhibit at Gateway Mall, Araneta Center up to April 24. N.J. Viehland Photo

his skullcap

Blessed John Paul II's skull cap in gold case at right was among 50 relics and memorabilia exhibited at Gateway Mall Araneta Center in Quezon City since April 2 until April 24 before Totus Tuus group brings the exhibit to southern Philippines and back to Quezon City for his April 27 canonization in Rome with Blessed Pope John XXII. NJ Viehland Photos.

Blessed John Paul II’s skull cap in gold case at right was among 50 relics and memorabilia exhibited at Gateway Mall Araneta Center in Quezon City since April 2 until April 24 before Totus Tuus group brings the exhibit to southern Philippines and back to Quezon City for his April 27 canonization in Rome with Blessed Pope John XXII. NJ Viehland Photos.

a cassock, a purificator, a piece of a chasuble that he used, a rosary and a strip of the sheet from his deathbed.

Blessed John Paul II memorabilia including his rosary, medals, letters are part of the 50-piece exhibit of Totus Tuus group at Gateway Mall Araneta Center, Quezon City from April 2-24. NJ Viehland Photo.

Blessed John Paul II memorabilia including his rosary, medals, letters are part of the 50-piece exhibit of Totus Tuus group at Gateway Mall Araneta Center, Quezon City from April 2-24. NJ Viehland Photo.

Some of the relics came from Rome and some from Poland. The others were borrowed from the personal collections of nuns, priests and lay people who met the Polish-born Pope during his two visits to the Philippines.

Blessed John Paul is fondly remembered for his last visit to Manila for World Youth Day in 1995. I was most impressed by his visit to Bacolod City on Negros island in 1981. It was during massive hunger on the island where thousands of the children grew severely malnourished allegedly due to the drop in the world price of sugar, the islands main product. Non-government groups working with farmers and sugar plantations workers blamed “unjust” socio-economic systems.

Here is, for me, a powerful memorabilia of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Bacolod City on Negros Island which the late Bacolod Bishop Antonio Fortich described then as a “social volcano” . 

Blessed John Paul II's visits to the Philippines were commemorated at the exhibit of his memorabilia at Gateway Mall Araneta Center, Quezon City. The exhibit set up there until April 24 included chairs and items used during his visits. NJ Viehland Photos

Blessed John Paul II’s visits to the Philippines were commemorated at the exhibit of his memorabilia at Gateway Mall Araneta Center, Quezon City. The exhibit set up there until April 24 included chairs and items used during his visits. NJ Viehland Photos

A statement last September announced that Pope Francis had decreed that the two popes would be canonized together on April 27. Among groups that hailed the decision to canonize the two heads of the Church was the Anti-Defamation League which wrote the following month: “For us in the Jewish community, Popes John Paul II and John XXIII have already been saints for a long time.”

League National Director Abraham Foxman was quoted calling the popes “towering men whose visionary leadership and groundbreaking reforms transformed Jewish-Catholic relations and reversed two thousand painful years of church-based Antisemitism,” said Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman, who met Pope John Paul II on several occasions, in a statement.

Cardinal Tagle to First Gathering of Metro Manila Clergy: “Let’s not fail our flock”

[updated Oct. 9, 2013 10:23 p.m.]
          “Let’s not fail our flock,” Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila appealed to priests in his homily for the Mass that closed the First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila last Thursday at Rockwell Tent in Makati City.
          He reminded fellow clergymen, “For many people a priest sent to the community is the answer to their lonely prayer and when they see us, we are like angels sent from above. Let us not fail them. Let us not fail Jesus.”
           Some 200 priests belonging to and serving in the greater Archdiocese of Manila, or what is officially known as the Metropolitan See of Manila, gathered Oct. 3 at the Power Plant Mall for a special reunion to mark the 10th year of the new dioceses that were carved out of it.
           The Metropolitan See of Manila is now composed of the mother Archdiocese of Manila headed by Cardinal Tagle,
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila's homily for the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”,  October 3, 2013 celebrated with some 130 priests bishops in the chapel of Rockwell Tent, Power Plant offered points for priests' reflection of themes during the days activities at the Makati City mall, including mission of the Church, servant priesthood and discipleship. NJ Viehland Photo

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila’s homily for the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 celebrated with some 130 priests bishops in the chapel of Rockwell Tent, Power Plant offered points for priests’ reflection of themes during the days activities at the Makati City mall, including mission of the Church, servant priesthood and discipleship. NJ Viehland Photo

            Diocese of Cubao led by Bishop Honesto Ongtioco,
Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao Diocese laughing along with other participants watching professional comedians Brod Pete and Michael Angelo Lobin spoof priests and joke around at the "First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, on October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. NJ Viehland Photo

Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao Diocese laughing along with other participants watching professional comedians Brod Pete and Michael Angelo Lobin spoof priests and joke around at the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, on October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. NJ Viehland Photo

            Dioceses of Kalookan, Novaliches, Parañaque, and Pasig
Bishop Jesse Mercado of Paranaque, Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez of Manila, Antipolo Auxiliary Bishop Francisco de Leon, apostolic administrator of Kalookan during the procession to the altar for the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. NJ Viehland Photo

Bishop Jesse Mercado of Paranaque, Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez of Manila, Antipolo Auxiliary Bishop Francisco de Leon, apostolic administrator of Kalookan during the procession to the altar for the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. NJ Viehland Photo

Antipolo Auxliary Bishop Francisco de Leon, Administrator of Kalookan diocese, Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila, Bishop Mylo Vergara of Pasig and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle celebrated Mass to close the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”,  October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. NJ Viehland Photo

Antipolo Auxliary Bishop Francisco de Leon, Administrator of Kalookan diocese, Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila, Bishop Mylo Vergara of Pasig and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle celebrated Mass to close the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. NJ Viehland Photo

             Before the Archdiocese of Manila was divided in 2003, it had 272 parishes and 402 diocesan priests and almost 11 million Catholics under its care, the archdiocese’s office of communications reported. The late Jaime L. Cardinal Sin as archbishop of Manila initiated the split to allow priests to minister better to the region’s growing population due largely to migration from rural areas.  Today the Metropolitan See of Manila has 631 diocesan and religious priests.
More than 130 priests and bishops concelebrated at the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the chapel of Rockwell Power Plant Mall in Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

More than 130 priests and bishops concelebrated at the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the chapel of Rockwell Power Plant Mall in Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

More than 130 priests and bishops concelebrated at the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the chapel of Rockwell Power Plant Mall in Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

More than 130 priests and bishops concelebrated at the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the chapel of Rockwell Power Plant Mall in Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

             Aside from Eucharistic adoration and reflections by Bishop Ongtioco, Pasig Bishop Hubert Mylo Vergara and group reflection and sharing among priests in the morning, lay professional artists shared their impressions of Filipino community life, culture, expression of faith and aspirations using music and humor. Performers included:
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila poses with Brod Pete (right) and ex-seminarian Michel Angelo Lobin (author of Laugh with God) after the professional comedians entertained the "First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila" with spoofs on priests, seminarians, Philippine culture and language and more on Oct. 3, 2013 at Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila poses with Brod Pete (right) and ex-seminarian Michel Angelo Lobin (author of Laugh with God) after the professional comedians entertained the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila” with spoofs on priests, seminarians, Philippine culture and language and more on Oct. 3, 2013 at Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

           Composer, singer, musician of inspirational music Noel Cabangon shared his music and his experiences as a man with a family, talent and aspirations for a full life for Filipinos and the world.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle poses with Noel Cabangon after the professional singer/composer sang inspirational songs at the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, on October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle poses with Noel Cabangon after the professional singer/composer sang inspirational songs at the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, on October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

Priests at the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, on October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City laugh during the stint of professional comedians Brod Pete and ex-seminarian Michael Angelo Lobin, author of Laugh with God. N.J. Viehland Photo

Priests at the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, on October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City laugh during the stint of professional comedians Brod Pete and ex-seminarian Michael Angelo Lobin, author of Laugh with God. N.J. Viehland Photo

* Part I of III
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