Misa de Gallo in Tacloban and Palo, Leyte

Lifted from http://papalvisit.ph/misa-de-gallo-in-tacloban-and-palo-leyte

Palo, Leyte – Whether it is a fully-reconstructed barangay chapel or one that is currently being built, the people of Leyte flocked to the Misa de Gallo, the nine-day dawn masses in preparation for Christmas. “This year, it has a specific vibrancy and fervor because of the impact of the Pope’s coming. We also received guidelines to include the spiritual preparation of the people about mercy and compassion, the theme of the papal visit in January 2015, in our homilies during the Misa de Gallo,” said Fr. Oscar L. Florencio of the papal visit secretariat in Palo.

Misa de Gallo in Tacloban and Palo 1

“Thanks to Caritas, NASSA, and the CBCP more than 50 barangays chapels have been reconstructed in Palo alone,” Fr. Florencio continued. Because of this, the people are also in high spirits, so happy to have a beautiful chapel where they can gather for the mass, fellowship and the sharing of the Word of God.

So they come in droves to the Christmas novena masses – in gratitude for the past year as they picked up the pieces after Yolanda, and also to present to Jesus and Mary their wishes for Christmas and the New Year. Almost all the barangays chapels have their own choir and they have a ‘misa cantada’ everyday! The responses of the faithful to the prayers of the priests are sung, not only to create a beautiful liturgy, but also for pastoral reasons. Since mass is celebrated at 4:00 AM, singing the responses helps the congregation to remain alert and awake during the celebration.

Misa de Gallo in Tacloban and Palo 3

Another particular feature of the Misa de Gallo this year is the project Lamesa ni Marta as part of the Year of the Poor activities. This means inviting everyone, particularly those still struggling with the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda, to enjoy the food and the community after the celebration of the Eucharist. The Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) started this practice in some parishes in the past years. This time the whole diocese has committed to live the essence of the papal visit’s theme – mercy and compassion, and the Year of the Poor – do justice and love kindness by feeding the flock through Lamesa ni Marta.In some parishes, this project is carried out in close collaboration with local government units and generous lay people.

Misa de Gallo in Tacloban and Palo 4

In Palo where the chapel of the Archbishop is still under construction, the faithful go to the chapel early and bring with them the images of San Roque, Our Lady, the Sacred Heart, etc. for the Aurora – the dawn rosary procession.  This beautiful devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary was re-introduced by Archbishop John Du in Palo and he would often join the people in procession. They go around the barangays holding the sacred images while saying the Holy Rosary, and the crowd expands as they go back to the chapel. The elderly who grew up with this devotion, families, young people and children, and even adult males join the crowd, each with a fervent wish and a prayer for Christmas.

After mass, more than 300 people partook of the hearty breakfast provided by the good bishop and prepared by volunteers.

#PopeFrancisPH in Leyte: What to expect

Lifted from http://www.rappler.com/video/79217-pope-francis-philippines-leyte-itinerary

by Rappler.com 

Published 3:12 PM, Dec 29, 2014 | Updated 12:55 AM, Dec 31, 2014


Pope Francis is visiting Leyte on January 17 to meet typhoons Yolanda (Haiyan) and Ruby (Hagupit) survivors


TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Pope Francis is visiting Tacloban City and Palo in Leyte province on January 17 to meet typhoons Yolanda (Haiyan) and Ruby (Hagupit) survivors.

Voltaire Tupaz files this video blog about what to expect when the Pope visits the predominantly Catholic province.

At 9:30 am on January 17, Pope Francis is expected to arrive here at the Tacloban airport for the Leyte leg of his trip to the Philippines.

Civil aviation authorities say the runway is ready for the Pope.

But workers rush to finish other parts of the airport damaged by typhoons Haiyan in 2013 and Hagupit a month before the papal visit.

ALLAN CAHINGCOY, TACLOBAN AIRPORT OIC MANAGER: Paglapag na paglapag ng pope on Bay 3…he would be greeted by students – about 200 students who will be performing a welcome dance…When he disembarks from the aircraft, there will be a red carpet…The pope will be greeted by some local officials and the clergy and he would walk directly into this holding room. Paglabas po ng pope (When the pope exists VIP room), some flag-waving children will be lining up where the popemobile will pass through going to the mass area.

At least 80,000 people are expected to flock to this new part of the domestic airport. On the same day at 10:00 am, the pope will say mass with other priests from the region.Before the Mass, the Pope will change vestments in a makeshift sacristy.
CAHINGCOY: Yung sacristy na yun doon po didiretso ang Pope mula dito para magput-on, mag-change siya ng clothes or mag-freshen up before the mass (From here, the Pope will proceed to the sacristy to change his vestment or to freshen up). I believe it is a container van which they would modify into a sacristy, an air conditioned one.

As they rebuild their homes, the Pope’s mass is a ray of hope for typhoon survivors in this predominantly Catholic province.

At noon, some of them will have lunch with the Holy Father at the Archbishop’s residence in the nearby town of Palo. (READ: Typhoon Ruby victims invited to meet #PopeFrancisPH)

Pope Francis heads back to the airport and departs for Manila at 5:00 pm. (READ: Pope Francis’ official itinerary)

The visit is a milestone for Catholics in the Philippines.

For many it marks a resurgence in faith, with the humble and compassionate Francis at the center.

Voltaire Tupaz, Rappler, Tacloban. – Rappler.com

Prelate to media: Be voice of mercy, compassion

Lifted from http://papalvisit.ph/prelate-to-media-be-voice-of-mercy-compassion/

TACLOBAN City, Dec. 22, 2014 — Identifying the media as collaborators of the Roman Catholic Church in ensuring the success of the papal visit in the Palo Archbishop John Du called on the members of the local media to be “the voice of mercy and compassion”.

“The success of the coming of the Holy Father will depend on how you are going to spread the updates on the preparation,” Du told the media during a press briefing this morning at the Chancery of the Archdiocese in Palo, Leyte.

Fr. Amadeo Alvero, spokesperson and social communications director of the Archdiocese of Palo, likewise asked to the media to encourage the people to attend the papal mass, which will be held on Jan. 17, 10 a.m. at the DZR Airport.The prelate described the media as the church’s partners and mouthpiece, underscoring the role they will play during the coming visit of Pope Francis.

In some parishes, priests continually remind churchgoers to register for the papal mass or submit their registration forms for proper documentation and distribution of their respective IDs. While some parishes in the Archdiocese of Palo set their deadline on Christmas day, the Diocese of Borongan’s deadline of registration is on Dec. 29.

According to Alvero, there are some parishioners who are reluctant to register on account of the restrictions set by the Papal Visit committee on security and public order.

“The restrictions are not there to scare us but to prepare us,” Alvero stressed who reiterated that those who would like to attend the papal mass should be physically fit. Among these restrictions he mentioned were the banning of umbrellas, bladed objects and bottled water.

In a separate interview, Msgr. Rex Ramirez, the vicar-general of the Archdiocese and executive secretary of the steering committee of the Papal Visit to the Archdiocese of Palo, clarified that the prohibition in bringing umbrellas is not only for security reasons, in that the pointed end of the umbrella could injure people nearby, but also to facilitate everyone’s participation in the Mass.

“The one using the umbrella must also consider the person next to him or her, that he might block the person of his view of the Pope during Mass,” he said, adding that during rainfall, using umbrellas in such congested areas will most likely get more people wet. “Raincoats could be better protection from rain,” he added.

Alvero, in an earlier press briefing, likewise encouraged people who will attend the papal Mass to use caps instead of umbrellas and transparent bags so that the inspection will not take long.

Du expressed optimism that the Pope’s visit will be “an occasion for us to renew and strengthen our faith, a challenge for us to have a heart for the poor, to be humble, to be simple.”

“That is what should be, what we are supposed to do with our lives,” he said, “We are not here for ourselves (but) for the others, especially for those in need.” (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros/CBCP News) 

Prepare spiritually and physically for Pope’s visit, Palo priest asks faithful

Lifted from http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/popefrancis/story/392869/prepare-spiritually-and-physically-for-pope-s-visit-palo-priest-asks-faithful

December 16, 2014 8:18pm


A church official from Leyte on Tuesday asked those that will flock in Tacloban and Palo for Pope Francis’ visit to “ready themselves” for the large crowds that they will face.
In a press briefing in Intramuros, Msgr. Bernie Pantin, vicar-general of the Archdiocese of Palo, called on the people “to ready themselves physically and spiritually,” as well as to “bear the little inconveniences.”
Pantin also asked the people to be careful to avoid getting hurt, as well as to look out for each other during the public events.
“We are praying that the faith, restraint, and resiliency that our people showed at the face of so much suffering will once again prevail over the frenzy of excitement, so that no untoward incident will happen,” he said.
Mass, motorcade
Pope Francis will spend most of the third day of his Philippine visit on January 17 in Leyte.
While most of his visit in the province will be spent with a select number of people, the public will get to commune with him in a mass at the Tacloban airport,
Pantin said the airport grounds may accommodate about 150,000 people, adding that the area will be secured by barricades.
He also pointed out that the public may get the chance to see him in motorcades to and from Palo.
The popemobile that Pope Francis will use will be “open” and not bulletproof to enable him to reach out physically to the people, as well as to hear cheers and shoutouts from those who will line up the road, church officials said.
During the press briefing, Pantin said the “worst case scenario” is that people will also occupy the side of the road from the airport where Pope Francis’ vehicle will pass.

“There’s only one way to the airport. Siguro ‘yung worst case scenario is baka hindi na makadaan doon kasi puno ng tao. The place is small,” Pantin said.

“Although half of the road will be given to the people, so sana hindi talaga matakpan ‘yung side of the road kung saan dadaan ‘yung motorcade. Otherwise, hindi na magmo-motorcade, baka i-airlift na lang [si Pope] papuntang Palo,” he added.
Visiting survivors, siesta
After the mass, the Pope will head to the Archbishop’s Resident in Palo for lunch with 30 survivors of super typhoon Yolanda and the magnitude-7.2 earthquake in Bohol last year.
According to Pantin, 15 of the individuals chosen will come from Leyte, while five persons each will come from the cities of Borongan and Calbayog in Samar, and Tagbilaran in Bohol.
After this and a 30-minute “siesta,” the Pope will bless the Pope Francis Center for the Poor in Palo, where he will meet 50 persons with disabilities, orphans, and elderly.
Pope Francis Center, which was briefly used as an evacuation center for people affected by Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit), will have an orphanage, a home for the aged, and a dispensary.
The Pope will be “praying and lighting a candle” there before going back to Tacloban airport for his flight back to Manila, Pantin said. —NB, GMA News