Pope to have encounter with 3 families | Global News

Pope to have encounter with 3 families

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 06:35 AM December 13, 2014

No one should take a backseat.

If Pope Francis would have his way, he wants to have eye contact with the Filipinos he will meet during an encounter that will highlight the experiences of families in poverty, those with members working overseas and those caring for persons with disabilities (PWDs).


According to Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, chair of the papal visit media committee, Pope Francis himself has requested organizers of his visit to ensure that he will have “eye contact” with the Filipino families he will meet at SM Mall of Asia Arena on Jan. 16, 2015.

“The Pope wants this event to be a real personal encounter with families there, including the poor,” Vergara said. “If the Holy Father were on the platform, there are still spaces at the back. But the [Vatican] people told us that no one should be seated at the back. The Holy Father wants it to be a respectful encounter, in the sense that he wants the people to have eye contact with him personally.”


Pope Francis. AP FILE PHOTO

Pope Francis. AP FILE PHOTO

“For us Filipinos, to feel his presence, even at the back, is already important. But the Holy Father wants to establish eye contact when he speaks and when the encounter happens on that day,” Vergara added.

According to Fr. Dennis Soriano, the liturgist in charge of the “Encounter with Families” event, three families from each of the three sectors—the poor, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and PWDs—were invited to share their experiences as part of a “dialogue” with Pope Francis.

“The three families will be sharing testimonies and experiences of faith in the presence of the Pope,” he said, adding that the theme of the event is “Journey of the Holy Family—Jesus, Mary and Joseph.”

Three languages


Soriano said the topics that the chosen families will talk about reflect the general experiences of the Filipino family. He did not identify the three families, saying they were still finalizing things.

“In the beginning we listed different situations of Filipino families, but these three topics stood out,” the priest said. “We think that these topics will somehow give the Pope an overview of the experience of the Filipino family.”

According to Soriano, they plan to have the families speak in different languages. “The family assigned on poverty will speak in Filipino, the OFW family in English, the PWD family might do sign language and have somebody voice-interpret it—that’s the plan as of now.”


He said the Pope will not celebrate a Mass at the event but will instead lead the Liturgy of the Word.

When the Pope arrives, he would be welcomed by Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes and the family of actress Boots Anson Roa’s husband, Francisco “King” Rodrigo Jr.

King will read a special message for the Pontiff on behalf of all the families present at the event, while his mother, centenarian Remedios Enriquez Rodrigo, was tasked to welcome the Pope with a garland.


“The Rodrigos represent a big family welcoming the Pope,” Soriano said.

Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas earlier explained that the Rodrigo family was given special tasks for the papal visit because “the family has four generations already and the whole family of four generations is devoutly Catholic.”

During the Liturgy of the Word, a deacon will read the Gospel, after which the Holy Father will make a reflection. Pope Francis will bless all families present, Soriano said.

Soriano said they expect 15,000 people to participate in the Pope’s meeting with families. Each Catholic diocese was asked to send only 100 delegates, mostly from the urban poor sector, to the event.

Vergara said participants would include those “far” from the Church. “The Church is trying its best to be open, to provide pastoral care for lapsed Catholics,” he said.

Pope app

Organizers of the 2015 papal visit also launched the official papal visit app to keep the digital generation informed on Pope Francis’ apostolic journey to the Philippines.

The new “Papalvisitph” app is now available for download on both iOS and Android devices, said Vergara.

The app, by Digital Media Ph, is linked to the papal Twitter handle, @Pontifex, as well as to the official papal visit website, Papalvisit.ph and social media accounts. It also contains the Pope’s itinerary in the Philippines for Jan. 15 to 19, 2015, the National Prayer for the Papal Visit, a photo gallery, and audio of the official theme song, “We Are All God’s Children.” It also contains news updates on the papal visit.

A unique feature of the app is the “Prayer Wall” where users can post their petitions and prayer intentions.

“Keeping the doors of our churches open also means keeping them open in the digital environment so that people, whatever their situation in life, can enter, and so that the Gospel can go out to reach everyone,” states the Papalvisitph app’s description in the App Store, quoting Pope Francis’ message for the 48th World Communications Day.

The Department of Public Works and Highways will display Philippine and Vatican flags alternately along the routes where Pope Francis is expected to pass.

Pope Francis will arrive from Sri Lanka on Jan. 15, 2015, and stay until the 19th. The apostolic visit will take the Holy Father to various places in Metro Manila and the province of Leyte in the Visayas, which was devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”


Pope to get a glimpse of Cebu’s Sinulog

Leyte solon: Don’t politicize Pope Francis visit

1,200 youths led by 2 orphans to welcome Pope Francis

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, papal visit, Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, Persons with disabilities, pope, Pope Francis, PWDs
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our global news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.