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.


Papal representative visits typhoon-stricken Leyte

Palo, Leyte – Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum for Human and Christian Development (Cor Unum) arrived in Leyte on January 28 to visit areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda and extend more assistance for rehabilitation efforts. Cor Unum is an administrative body of the Pope for the Church’s charitable activities.

Cardinal Sarah, 68, first visited the San Jose Parish in Tacloban City, one of the parishes that were severely devastated because of the typhoon, to have breakfast. The cardinal then went around Tacloban and Palo to visit communities and spearheaded the distribution of relief goods in severely hit areas. In Palo, he celebrated a mass at the Libertad Mission Station. “I would not tell you the date but the Holy Father has been telling me ‘I might be also going there,’” the cardinal said during the mass.

He then visited the Sisters of Mercy Hospital, Sacred Heart Seminary, and the Archbishop’s Residence, where he met with Archbishop John Du of the Archdiocese of Palo. Archbishop Du stated that the facilities within the Residence which were damaged by the typhoon will be renovated, to be financed by Cor Unum. The project will also include a small convent for nuns, a chapel, and a dispensary. “I decided to have them built within the compound of my residence because I also want to live with these people,” Du said. He added that the project is “..part of the Holy Father’s desire to reach out to the people especially the least whom are not given much attention.”

Cardinal Sarah returned to Manila the same day and traveled back to Rome after two days.

Immediately after the typhoon, Pope Francis donated an initial USD 150,000 through the Cor Unum as aid to the victims.