Message from the Archbishop


Message of H. E. Archbishop John F. Du on the Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis to the Archdiocese of Palo

MAY Almighty God be praised!  The news confirming the Holy Father’s coming in January fills us with gratitude to God who has given us this very special favor.  The decision of Pope Francis to come to the Philippines, and especially to visit the Archdiocese of Palo to show solidarity with the victims of the Yolanda catastrophe was very unexpected, but is also very much welcome.  Let us all pray that this pastoral visit of the Supreme Shepherd of the Universal Church may bring hope and encouragement, unity and peace to all so that we may rise from the destruction unleashed by  the fury of Yolanda to a better and brighter tomorrow.

We are trying our best to prepare for this great event and are very thankful for the help and support of our leaders in the Church and in Government, and of many groups and individuals. Manila expects millions of pilgrims. We, too in Leyte are expecting hundreds of thousands to join us.  We are preparing for them as well. Let us prepare for this together, without bickering and without undermining each other’s participation. The Philippines is now united in praying fervently for Pope Francis; let us also contribute our own good will and efforts, in ensuring that the apostolic visit of the Roman Pontiff may not be marred by any untoward incident and that it may truly be a time of grace for our country and for everyone.

Many dioceses in the Visayas suffered much especially due to the Bohol earthquake and the Super Typhoon Yolanda.  As we suffered together so should we also rejoice together, for in faith we understand that the Lord, in his mercy and compassion, does not only try us and test our faith; He also continues to provide us with good things, through Christ Our Lord.

+ JOHN F. DU, D.D.
Archbishop of Palo
November 14, 2014


Vatican confirms Papal Visit to Eastern Visayas


Papal Visit_schedule_final


15 to 19 January 2015

15 January 2015 (Thursday)
5:45 pm – Arrival at Villamor Air Base, Manila

16 January 2015 (Friday)
9:15 am – Welcome reception at Malacanan Palace and courtesy visit to the President
10:15 am – Meeting with members of diplomatic corps
11:15 am – Mass at the Manila Cathedral (Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception)
5:30 pm – Encounter with families at the Mall of Asia Arena

17 January 2015 (Saturday)
09:30 am – Arrival at Tacloban airport
10:00 am – Mass at Tacloban Airport
12:45 pm – Lunch with the poor at the Archbishop’s House, Palo
3:00 pm – Blessing of Pope Francis Center for the Poor, Palo
3:30 pm – Visit to the Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration, Palo
5:00 pm – Departure for Manila
6:15 pm – Arrival at Villamor Air Base, Manila

18 January 2015 (Sunday)
9:45 am – Meeting with religious leaders in Manila
10:30 am – Meeting with the youth at the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas
3:30 pm – Concluding Mass at Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park (Luneta)

19 January 2015 (Monday)
09:45 am – Farewell ceremony at Villamor Air Base
10:00 am – Departure for Rome
5:40 pm – Arrival at Rome Ciampino Airport

Source: Viaggio Apostolico di Sua Santità Francesco in Sri Lanka e Filippine (12-19 gennaio 2015) – Programma, 14.11.2014


Archdiocese holds Yolanda Day of Remembrance

A year after the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda, the whole Archdiocese led by the Archbishop of Palo – Most Rev. John F. Du, began the day of Remembrance. It started with a Holy Mass followed with a blessing in one of the mass graves. Activities were also lined up in the different parishes. It was a day of prayer and thanksgiving to God and day of commending the resiliency of the people.


Papal Nuncio spends Christmas with Yolanda survivors

Palo, Leyte –The Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, arrived at the Archdiocese of Palo to celebrate Christmas with the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda, 24 December 2013.

Archbishop Pinto, one of the diplomatic representatives of the Holy See to countries all over the world, visited an evacuation center to see first-hand the situation of families affected by the typhoon. He went to the Sacred Heart Seminary in Palo to partake dinner with the clergy and the religious active in the Archdiocese. He then officiated the midnight mass to celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord at the Palo Metropolitan Cathedral. The Nuncio stayed at the Archbishop’s Residence. He showed compassion for the victims when he said that he would sleep wherever they sleep.

On Christmas Day, the Papal Nuncio presided over a morning mass at the Santo Nino Church in Tacloban City.

The Papal Nuncio was among the dignitaries who visited Leyte after the destruction caused by the typhoon.


Cardinal Tagle joins jubilee year culmination

Palo, Leyte – On November 28, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle led the celebration of the culminating mass of the 75th jubilee anniversary of the Archdiocese of Palo as a diocese at the ruined Palo Metropolitan Cathedral. The Cardinal was grateful that the Archdiocese decided to push through with the celebration. “We need to pray, we need to gather, we need to give thanks. After all, with or without Yolanda, the Archdiocese of Palo is a diamond; and diamonds are forever,” the Cardinal said.

Cardinal Tagle shared three points in the homily that stirred the hearts of all who were present. First, he said that the Diocese is a living presence of God with his people. He added, quoting from Vatican II documents, that a “Diocese is the presence of Christ in the world especially in the local Church where it is located” and this is a reason to celebrate. “Buildings may collapse, fields may be flattened, but the church will continue thriving. For as long as the Spirit calls us to be one people, and we proclaim and hear the word of God and celebrate the Eucharist and serve on another, we are Church,” he added.

Secondly, he hailed that the victims of Yolanda continue to strengthen and inspire the whole world.“You think we are the ones stronger, more lucid, that we come to the rescue with relief goods and with kind words to strengthen you? But, I want to tell you; in your hidden silent ways, through your tears and through the laughter and the jokes of young people, you have inspired the whole nation, in fact the whole world,” Tagle said.

Lastly, he encouraged the faithful to not fear asking God why. He likened the victims’ situation to Jesus Christ before His death. “The last word of Christ before dying was ‘Why did you abandon me?’ Jesus died asking why,” the Archbishop noted. He added that amidst the destruction wrought by Super Tyhoon Yolanda, the people may not find all the answers to their questions. “In full trust, we have to ask God why,” Tagle said. He also shared his experience in Rome with the Pope, where he expressed his solidarity and his prayers with the Church in the Philippines.

Palo Archbishop John Du, suffragan Bishops, and the clergy of the Archdiocese of Palo joined the Archbishop of Manila in the celebration.