Batangas shrine ready for gathering of more than 3,000 delegates
The National Shrine of Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, is ready for the thousands of delegates of the 4th World Apostolic Congress on Mercy which will be held at the said shrine on Jan. 18.
In particular, shrine rector Fr. Joselin Gonda said they are prepared for the day-long sacrament of confession as part of the Wacom 4.
“About 200 priests will be ready at the shrine so that the delegates and pilgrims may avail of the sacrament of confession from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 18,” he said in a statement posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website.
Gonda said priests will hear confession in different languages “since international and local delegates are expected to come.”
The shrine is hosting the third day of Wacom 4, which has the theme “The Church is a Forgiven and Forgiving Community: Celebrating God’s mercy to sinners.”
The five-day Wacom 4, which will be also held in Manila, Bataan and Bulacan, has attracted 3,610 foreign and local delegates so far.
The Wacom 4 is a gathering of more than 3,000 delegates from Jan. 16 to 20, which aims to accelerate the culture of mercy in the Catholic Church and all over the world.
At the National Shrine of Padre Pio, Gonda said they have been stationing a priest to hear confessions in the St. John Mary Vianney Chapel of Reconciliation each day from morning to evening.
Priests used to come to the shrine to administer the sacrament of reconciliation to devotees and pilgrims before the celebration of the Mass every 23rd of the month, and the first and third Saturday of the month.
The shrine’s newly built Divine Mercy Pilgrims Center will be the venue of Bishop Teodoro Bacani’s talk at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 18, and the concelebrated Mass of Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles at 3:30 pm.
A new bridge, the “Ponte di Maria” which leads to the shrine, was inaugurated and blessed last November to facilitate the flow of delegates and pilgrims to the Wacom 4.
A new driveway, the “Daan ng Poong Nazareno” which leads to the new entrance and exit points from the shrine, was also inaugurated.
The day will end with a 30-minute stage play on the life of Padre Pio at 5 p.m., said Gonda.
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.