Pope Francis will have the chance to personally interact with victims of supertyphoon “Yolanda” during his Leyte motorcade on Jan. 17.

Papal visit organizers on Tuesday (Dec. 16, 2014) bared that the Holy Father would use two open “popemobiles,” one each for Manila and Leyte. The use of an open vehicle will allow the Pope to get on and off easily at any time during his motorcades, officials said.

In a press conference, Fr. David Concepcion, executive secretary of the committee on transportation for the papal visit, said the Pontiff would ride an open popemobile that would not be bulletproof, which shows that the Church is “accessible and open.”

“Sinadya pong bukas [ang Pope’s mobile dahil] gusto ng Santo Papa na siya ay accessible. Gusto niya na `pag may nakita at gusto niyang tumigil, pwede siyang bumaba agad,” Fr. Concepcion said in the press conference at the Papal Visit Media General Headquarters at the Fr. George Willmann, S.J. Memorial Building of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association in Intramuros, Manila.

Church officials said the Pope’s visit to Palo, Leyte on Jan. 17 would be a “day of peace, love, and hope.”

“The encounter with the Holy Father in Tacloban will surely be a blessing for all of us,” said Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, chairman of the Papal Visit Committee on Information and Media Relations.

The Pope is expected to arrive around 9:30 in the morning at Tacloban Airport, where he will offer Holy Mass.

After the Mass, Pope Francis will proceed to the Archbishop’s Residence in Palo for lunch, where he will be joined by 30 victims of Yolanda and the 2013 Bohol earthquake—15 from Leyte; five from Borongan, Eastern Samar; five from Calbayog, Samar; and five from Tagbilaran, Bohol.

The Vatican-funded Pope Francis Center for the Poor near Palo Cathedral will be blessed by the Pope after lunch. At the center, will meet with persons with disabilities, orphans, and the elderly.

According to a report by CBCP News, the center will house an orphanage, a home for the aged, and a dispensary to be run and maintained by the Kkottoongnae Brothers and Sisters of Jesus, a Korean religious congregation.

The Pope will then go to Palo Cathedral to meet the clergy and the laity, and lead the praying of the Psalms. The Holy Father will also deliver a short message.

Lastly, Pope Francis will go to the mass grave of those who died during the typhoon, at the back of the cathedral, to light a candle and offer his personal prayers.

Pope Francis will go back to Tacloban Airport at 5 p.m. for his flight back to Manila.

Also present in the briefing were Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle; Msgr. Bernie Pantin, vicar-general of the Archdiocese of Palo; Palace Undersecretary for Legislative, Policy, and Legal Affairs Jess Anthony Yu; and Macy Grafil, a representative of Yolanda survivors in Tacloban. Lord Bien G. Lelay


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.