After Francis: what the ‘Pope of Surprises’ means for Philippines bishops

Manila, Philippines, Jan 18, 2015 / 08:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis’ departure from the Philippines prompted gratitude from leading bishops who encouraged Filipinos to reflect on the Pope’s message and to use discernment in responding to modern life.“The Pope is a Pope of surprises, but God also surprised him,” Bishop Mylo Vergara of San Jose said at a press conference following Pope Francis’ departure from the Philippines.The bishop praised Pope … [Read more...]

The Philippines’ farewell to visiting pontiff: “Pope Francis, we love you!”

Manila, Philippines, Jan 18, 2015 / 07:36 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Pope departed the Philippines Monday morning from Villamor Air Base at a farewell ceremony where over 400 abandoned children from various welfare centers performed songs to bid him farewell.“Pope Francis, we love you!” they said in a coordinated chant.The Pope walked along a red carpet to his plane with Philippines president Benigno Aquino, making personal comments to several bishops, officials, and laity.He … [Read more...]

One Buddhist nun’s thoughts on Pope Francis

Manila, Philippines, Jan 18, 2015 / 04:24 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A Buddhist nun who experienced Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines voiced her gratitude to the pontiff for his efforts at unity and dialogue among religious communities. “We see that the pope has brought a blessing and also unity,” said Ven. Miao Jing of the Buddhist Fo Guang Shan community.   “We want to bring about a sincere form of dialogue,” she told CNA during Pope Francis’ visit … [Read more...]

Philippines typhoon survivor: ‘There’s a reason for everything’

Manila, Philippines, Jan 18, 2015 / 02:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Elena Garado thought she was dead after being trapped under a table for four hours when Typhoon Yolanda hit her hometown in November 2013. But one year later, she is happy with her life and says that she knows there is a purpose to everything. “Time changes everything. Everything, this Yolanda…There’s a reason for everything,” Garado told CNA on Jan. 17. Super Typhoon Yolanda – known … [Read more...]

A providential boost for the Philippine church’s Year for Poor

Manila, Philippines, Jan 18, 2015 / 10:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A priest currently stationed in the Philippine diocese of Cebu said that not only is Pope Francis' visit an opportunity to vamp-up evangelization efforts, but also fuels the local church's push to help the poor. “Part of the pastoral thrust of the Church in the Philippines in 2015 is that it is Year for the Poor,” Father Justin of the Brothers of Saint John told CNA Jan. 15. So during the visit, he said, … [Read more...]

History made! Philippine crowd for Pope Francis hits 6-7 million

Manila, Philippines, Jan 18, 2015 / 04:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican's spokesman said that papal history was made Sunday during Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines where an estimated 6-7 million people attended his closing Mass. “The official number that has been given to us is between six and seven million,” Father Federico Lombardi told journalists at a press conference in Manila on Sunday, calling it the "largest event of the history of the … [Read more...]

Catholic and non-Catholic alike; young people swarm for Pope

Manila, Philippines, Jan 18, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Harold Ducusin, like many of his peers, traveled several hours to join tens of thousands of other young Filipinos to see Pope Francis at the sports field of Santo Tomas University Jan. 18. Unlike most of his peers at the event, however, Ducusin isn't Catholic. “It's really the first time I've participated in an activity like this, I really admire him as a Pope,” he said. During the event, Pope Francis … [Read more...]