Maligayang Pagdating

The Pope dressed in white ancient custom, with a cross over his chest disembarked from the flag carrier of Sri Lanka at Villamor Air Base at 5:45pm, Thursday the 15th of January.
In front of the TV set where I watched the Apostolic visit of the Holy Father, I felt confronted with him. This man of God is a mystery in and himself, a sign of contradiction. He is leader of the Catholic Church and the Vicar of Christ. He is considered the man of earth who represents the Son of God, “who takes the place” of the second person of the Omnipotent God of the Trinity.
Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on a cold night of December 17, 1936 in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is the eldest among the five children of Mario Jose Francisco Bergoglio and Regina Sivori. Both Italian descent.

The Bergoglio family had a simple, humble and happy life. It was his grandmother, Nona Rosa who had the greatest influence in the life of the ‘future Pope.’ Everyday they heard mass in the town church. They prayed together daily at home – the Angelus at sunset and the Rosary before going to bed at night. He had many beautiful memories about his childhood. He grew up in a modest home ruled by good parents, and sanctified by God’s blessings.
In academic studies, he showed his intellectual superiority. He graduated high school with a chemical technician diploma which enabled him to work as a chemist. He also did part-time jobs as a janitor and as a bar bouncer before joining the Society of Jesus. The system of education given by the Jesuits trained his character by rigid discipline and religious instruction. He went on to attend the Philosophical and Theological Faculty, where he earned a degree in philosophy, and later received a doctorate in theology with high honors. He was ordained to priesthood on the 13th of December 1969. His life and ministry as a priest provides his congregation with a very human and proper context of the priestly life, which served as a catalyst towards greater collaboration between the pastor and his flock. He was named Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992, and later was designated as Archbishop. Pope John Paul II named him cardinal in February 2001. Eventually, he was elected Pope on March 13, 2013, choosing the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, because of his love and concern for the well-being of the poor.
Pope Francis is known for being pro-poor. The main reason for the Pope’s visit to the Philippines is to comfort the Filipinos who were victims of the super typhoon Yolanda and the earthquake that hit the Visayas last year.
Just like the Good Shepherd, the Holy Father saw the suffering of his flock. Therefore, he wants the church to constantly go out of herself keeping her mission in Jesus Christ and her mercy, compassion and commitment to the poor and the suffering.
The Pope is indeed a simple man. His decision to live in Casa San Marta, rather than in the Apostolic Palace, shows that he wants to be with people-with ordinary people. He needs to live his life with others. This is the reason why he joins the laborers of the Vatican during mealtime in the cafeteria. He never rode luxury cars and uses ordinary, modest papal garments. He calls for a “sober and essential lifestyle”, preaching against materialism.
The Pope is a happy person. He has shown us by his example how to be happy. He is telling us to give ourselves to others and share some happy moments with them. Sunday is a day of the Lord and it should be shared with the family. He tells us to love and respect nature and all God’s creations. And to renew ourselves and be completely faithful to his exhortation and is always ready to be at the service of man, nations, and humanity in the spirit of this truth of the Gospel.
In achieving this task, he draws us closer to Lord Jesus Christ, the fount of love, compassion and mercy. In so doing, we become a living reflection of Christ and transforms us into a family of God.
Let us be moved to remember the Holy Father and his message of love, hope, mercy and compassion for the poor, the weak and the suffering.

Sunday Mass Schedule Effective March 2011

6:30am - Filipino
8:00am - English
9:30am - English
11:00am - English

12:15n.n - English

3:30pm - Filipino
5:00pm - English
6:30pm - English
8:00pm - English

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