PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK

POPE TO MINGLE FOR 30 MINUTES WITH CROWD AT RIZAL PARK 


Pope Francis salutes the faithful during his weekly general audience in St. Peter Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 22, 2013. AP/Alessandra Tarantino
--Overnight camping in Manila’s Rizal Park on the eve of Pope Francis’ open air mass there on Jan. 18 is prohibited for security reasons, but more Filipinos can meet the pontiff as he will spend some time mingling with the crowd.Fr. Rufino Sescon Jr., executive secretary of the Rizal Park mass steering committee, explained yesterday that the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) recommended that the park should be secured days before the mass, so camping out there is prohibited to help ensure order and security. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Pope Francis’ suggested New Year’s resolutions


VATICAN CITY — When Pope Francis met before Christmas with Vatican employees, mostly lay people with families, he asked them to do 10 things. The list sounded remarkably like suggestions for New Year’s resolutions:– “Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.”
– “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.” CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Gov’t assures security and safety of Pope, public

 

Malacañang on Monday allayed fears of the Catholic faithful on the security of His Holiness Pope Francis, upon his visit to the country next week, as the Pope declined to use a bulletproof pope mobile during his visit here. Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that President Aquino has already assured the safety and security of the Pope in his upcoming visit. Pope Francis will be in the country from January 15 to 19, 2015. Pope Francis Pope Francis “Syempre concern din natin wala siyang pope mobile pero sinabi na ni Presidente na bibigyan niya twice the number of PSG (Presidential Security Group) that secures him [Of course it is a concern for us that the Pope will not have a bulletproof pope mobile but the President has already said the Pope will be given twice the number of the PSG that secures him],” Lacierda said.

ALSO: Snipers, air cover to be deployed for Pope Francis
arrival

 

A picture of Pope Francis hangs on a pole while a Philippine military rescue helicopter takes off from an area where he will hold mass as part of security preparations for his visit at Rizal Park,
Manila, Philippines on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. Pope Francis will visit this predominantly Catholic country on Jan. 15-19. AP/Aaron Favila MANILA, Philippines - Sniper teams, air cover and military troops will be deployed for the arrival of Pope Francis on January 15. Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said that sniper teams posted on six to eight high-rise buildings along the Pope's entourage will monitor the area for possible threats. The airspace along Roxas Boulevard will also be cleared of all aircraft. Only those involved in securing the Pontiff will be allowed over the area. Meanwhile, around 6,000 to 7,000 soldiers will be deployed in Manila, Tacloban City and Palo, Leyte to secure the Pope in his five-day visit in the country from January 15 to 19. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Papal Mass to feature phrase in Tagalog 

 
Pope Francis always says Mass in Latin in Rome, but when he visits the Philippines next week, the Holy Father will speak a Tagalog phrase during Mass at the Rizal Park (Luneta) on January 18. Rev. Fr. Carmelo Arada Jr. of the Service Committee on Liturgy on Monday said the Pope will speak in Filipino during the Profession of Faith. “The part ‘I believe in God,’ it will be in Tagalog. He [Francis] will begin the prayer ‘Sumasampalataya Ako’ [I believe] . . . he will begin, then everybody will join,” Arada said in a news conference at the Knights of Columbus offices in Manila. He explained that a copy of the prayer in Filipino will be given to the Holy Father, which he will recite during the first part of the Mass. Pope Francis will arrive on January 15. He will visit victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City on January 17. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Cardinal, archbishop to hold papal visit fora

 
VILLEGAS AND TAGLE ---MANILA, Philippines–Despite their busier-than-usual schedules, the two Philippine bishops hosting the apostolic visit of Pope Francis are taking questions—literally. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, archbishop of Manila, and Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), are taking part in separate Inquirer Conversations in the run-up to the papal visit, as part of the Catholic Church’s continuing initiative to prepare the faithful for a historic religious event. The Conversations, to be conducted with Opinion columnists of the Inquirer and Inquirer publisher Raul Pangalangan, are open to the public and all media. The Pope is visiting the Philippines from Jan. 15 to 19. Questions from audience The two prelates are expected to field questions about the significance of the visit, the state of the Catholic Church in the Philippines and the Pope’s preferential option for the poor. A portion of each forum will feature questions from the audience. READ FULL REPORT...

EARLIER REPORT FROM THE INQUIRER: Pope’s itinerary: ‘Our official joy begins now’

 
READ FULL REPORT BELOW...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Pope to mingle for 30 mins with crowd in Luneta

MANILA, JANUARY 6, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Evelyn Macairan -  Overnight camping in Manila’s Rizal Park on the eve of Pope Francis’ open air mass there on Jan. 18 is prohibited for security reasons, but more Filipinos can meet the pontiff as he will spend some time mingling with the crowd.

Fr. Rufino Sescon Jr., executive secretary of the Rizal Park mass steering committee, explained yesterday that the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) recommended that the park should be secured days before the mass, so camping out there is prohibited to help ensure order and security.

The mass will start at 3:30 p.m. Rizal Park will only be open to the public on Jan. 18 from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. Even those with special papal identification cards will not be allowed to enter past 1 p.m.

But more people will have the chance to meet Pope Francis because before the mass, he will mingle with the crowd for about 30 minutes.

“Before the mass, the pope goes around to greet the people. He wants to really meet everyone and bless everyone because that will be the only chance for him…That is why the pope said he really wanted to go around,” Sescon said.

A special section near the altar stage will be reserved for 500 people with disabilities, 500 from the urban poor and 500 from the religious. There will be 2,500 priests and 200 bishops.

‘Papal route’

Pope Francis will go through Kalaw, Orosa and Burgos streets and Roxas Blvd., and then enter the Quirino Grandstand through South Road.

The pope will not pass through Taft Ave. because it poses “security problems,” Sescon said.

The priest recalled that during the 1995 World Youth Day, many people camped out at the Rizal Park on the eve of Pope John Paul’s visit. Authorities were unprepared for the large crowd of about five million who showed up, and the police only used human chains to restrict the crowd.

This time, the police and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) are preparing 23,000 pieces of concrete barricades, which they will line up along the papal route.

Each barricade measures 1.2 meters high to deter the people from getting too close to the Holy Father.

More than 2,500 policemen from the Calabarzon Region will be deployed to Metro Manila to help in the security during the papal visit.

Police are anticipating the crowd to again swell to five million, or even more. But since the Rizal Park grounds could only accommodate about 1.2 million people, the people are expected to spill over to the outskirts of the venue.

Sescon said church officials would install 18 giant LED screens around the park so that those who will be very far from the venue would still have an opportunity to hear the pope’s mass.

The public is also advised to bring a portable radio and tune in to Radio Veritas which will broadcast the Mass live.

Showing the Phl’s best

Organizers said they would also use the mass as an opportunity to show to Pope Francis the best that the Philippines has to offer.

Since the mass would take place on the Feast of the Sto. Niño, the people who will troop to the Quirino Grandstand may bring an image of the Sto. Niño.

The Cebu-based Sandiego Dance Company was also invited to perform the traditional Sinulog dance as a “welcome gesture” when Pope Francis enters the Quirino Grandstand. With Lawrence Agcaoili, Ding Cervantes, Ed Amoroso, Rudy Santos

FROM THE CEBU DAILY

In 2015, this church dedicated to the Sto. Niño de Cebu will mark its 50th year as a Basilica Minore, a declaration made by Pope Paul VI in 1965 on the 400th anniversary of the beginning of Christianization in the Philippines.

In 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the Spanish conquistador, docked in Cebu and a day later a sailor of his, Juan Camus, found the tiny image of the Sto. Niño right at the very spot where the church now stands.

The image had been kept in a pine box and tied with other boxes, a memento that marked its travails, from being brought to the island by Ferdinand Magellan in the ill-fated 1521 expedition, to being given away upon the request of the wife of Rajah Humabon days after her christening as Juana.

The year 2015 will be the 450th anniversary of that event. And a year later, the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) will be held in Cebu in late January, with Pope Francis expected to drop by at this most holy of places for Cebuano Catholics.

The pressure is strongest therefore for the Augustinian priests administering the basilica to find a way to stabilize the church and its belfry even as time moves ever faster.

One can only imagine how the Sinulog festivities and rites at the basilica would fare in January next year even as the belfry will most probably still stand unrestored, waiting for these stones to finally find their place. That is, with the help of those volunteers now painstakingly documenting each and every piece so that none will go to waste.

One day these stones will once again proudly look down on the faithful as they flock once more to the beloved abode of their faith.


FROM THE CATHOLIC NEWS (BLOG)

Pope Francis’ suggested New Year’s resolutions Posted on January 1, 2015 by Cindy Wooden


THE POPE --(CNS/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY — When Pope Francis met before Christmas with Vatican employees, mostly lay people with families, he asked them to do 10 things. The list sounded remarkably like suggestions for New Year’s resolutions:

– “Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.”

– “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.”

– “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.”

– “Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity and worldly decadence.”

– “Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others.”

– “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.”

– “Be careful of envy, lust, hatred and negative feelings that devour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.”

– “Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for pointing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation.”

– “Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker … the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless and strangers, because we will be judged on this.”

UPDATE because we initially didn’t include No. 10:
– Making sure your Christmas is about Jesus and not about shopping.


FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Gov’t assures security and safety of Pope, public by Madel Sabater - Namit January 5, 2015 Share this:

Malacañang on Monday allayed fears of the Catholic faithful on the security of His Holiness Pope Francis, upon his visit to the country next week, as the Pope declined to use a bulletproof pope mobile during his visit here.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that President Aquino has already assured the safety and security of the Pope in his upcoming visit.

Pope Francis will be in the country from January 15 to 19, 2015.

Pope Francis Pope Francis “Syempre concern din natin wala siyang pope mobile pero sinabi na ni Presidente na bibigyan niya twice the number of PSG (Presidential Security Group) that secures him [Of course it is a concern for us that the Pope will not have a bulletproof pope mobile but the President has already said the Pope will be given twice the number of the PSG that secures him],” Lacierda said.

“We’re doing everything humanly possible to secure the safety of the Pope,” he said.

The Palace official also assured that they are preparing stringent security measures for the public who will be attending the Pope’s events here.

“It’s not just the Pope that we’re concerned with the safety but also the crowd itself,” Lacierda said.

Lacierda said that so far, the Palace has not heard of any security threats on the Pope’s visit.

Earlier, the Palace assured that the government has been preparing security measures for the visit of Pope Francis even during the holidays.

Pope Francis is expected to lead the Holy Mass in Luneta, in Manila Cathedral, at the University of Santo Tomas, among others. He will likewise visit the victims of super-typhoon “Yolanda” in Tacloban City.

The Palace had earlier advised the public to plan ahead if they would like to be part of the Pope’s activities and ensure they are physically and mentally fit.

Pope Francis of Argentina, or Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected on March 13, 2013 as the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on February 28, 2013.

He was officially installed as the head of the Catholic Church on March 19, 2013. By MADEL SABATER – NAMIT

READ MORE ABOUT PAPAL VISIT CLICK IMAGE BELOW:


FROM PHILSTAR

Snipers, air cover to be deployed for Pope Francis arrival By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated January 6, 2015 - 3:16pm 14 108 googleplus0 0


A picture of Pope Francis hangs on a pole while a Philippine military rescue helicopter takes off from an area where he will hold mass as part of security preparations for his visit at Rizal Park,

Manila, Philippines on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. Pope Francis will visit this predominantly Catholic country on Jan. 15-19. AP/Aaron Favila MANILA, Philippines - Sniper teams, air cover and military troops will be deployed for the arrival of Pope Francis on January 15.

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said that sniper teams posted on six to eight high-rise buildings along the Pope's entourage will monitor the area for possible threats.

The airspace along Roxas Boulevard will also be cleared of all aircraft. Only those involved in securing the Pontiff will be allowed over the area.

Meanwhile, around 6,000 to 7,000 soldiers will be deployed in Manila, Tacloban City and Palo, Leyte to secure the Pope in his five-day visit in the country from January 15 to 19.

Catapang said that although they have yet to detect security threats for the Papal visit, their greatest concern is the "people surge" or the public attempting to get near the Pope.

"[That's why] we are putting up barricades (in the areas he will visit), hopefully, the people will understand that they will all have a chance to get a glimpse of the Pope," Catapang said.

He said they are looking at every possibility regarding the Pope's security.

The public is reminded to avoid putting Pope Francis in a "difficult situation."

Pope Francis is known for breaking security protocol in able to interact with the people, Catapang said. The Pope himself earlier requested that the popemobiles be open and accessible so that he can hear "the cries of the people."

READ: No bulletproof popemobile for Francis | Pope to mingle for 30 mins with crowd

Catapang said he is confident that the AFP, together with the Philippine National Police, will be able to hurdle the security challenge during the Pope's visit.

The Pope scheduled to arrive at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on January 15. The Papal convoy will then proceed to Roxas Boulevard toward the Apostolic Nunciature in Malate, Manila.

RELATED: INFOGRAPHIC: Places Pope Francis will visit in Philippines


ALSO MANILA TIMES

Papal Mass to feature phrase in Tagalog January 5, 2015 11:15 pm by ROBERTZON F. RAMIREZ REPORTER

Pope Francis always says Mass in Latin in Rome, but when he visits the Philippines next week, the Holy Father will speak a Tagalog phrase during Mass at the Rizal Park (Luneta) on January 18.
Rev. Fr. Carmelo Arada Jr. of the Service Committee on Liturgy on Monday said the Pope will speak in Filipino during the Profession of Faith.

“The part ‘I believe in God,’ it will be in Tagalog. He [Francis] will begin the prayer

‘Sumasampalataya Ako’ [I believe] . . . he will begin, then everybody will join,” Arada said in a news conference at the Knights of Columbus offices in Manila.

He explained that a copy of the prayer in Filipino will be given to the Holy Father, which he will recite during the first part of the Mass.

Pope Francis will arrive on January 15. He will visit victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City on January 17.

In an article posted on the official website of the papal visit, Fr. Genaro Diwa, liturgical affairs head of the Archdiocese of Manila and the person in-charge of liturgical preparations for the Closing Mass of the Papal Visit, said the Mass of the Holy Father at the Rizal Park will be “multilingual.”

“The aim is to create a national consciousness of unity despite diverse cultural expressions and to foster a sense of unity with the universal Church,” Diwa explained.

He said the text of the Mass of “Mercy and Compassion” would be based on the New English Translation of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal and the approved translations of the Order of the Mass in seven major Philippine languages.

The text will also “predominantly” employ Tagalog, Sugbuanon (Cebuano) and Ilocano, with select verses in Bicol, Capampangan, Hiligaynon (Ilongo) and Waray, as well as in English, Latin and Spanish. Missalettes will be provided.


FROM THE INQUIRER

Cardinal, archbishop to hold papal visit fora Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:40 AM | Wednesday, January 7th, 2015


VILLEGAS AND TAGLE

MANILA, Philippines–Despite their busier-than-usual schedules, the two Philippine bishops hosting the apostolic visit of Pope Francis are taking questions—literally.

Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, archbishop of Manila, and Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), are taking part in separate Inquirer Conversations in the run-up to the papal visit, as part of the Catholic Church’s continuing initiative to prepare the faithful for a historic religious event.

The Conversations, to be conducted with Opinion columnists of the Inquirer and Inquirer publisher Raul Pangalangan, are open to the public and all media.

The Pope is visiting the Philippines from Jan. 15 to 19.

Questions from audience

The two prelates are expected to field questions about the significance of the visit, the state of the Catholic Church in the Philippines and the Pope’s preferential option for the poor.

A portion of each forum will feature questions from the audience.

In line with the official theme of the papal visit, the Conversations have been given related titles.

“A Church of Mercy”—the Conversation with Cardinal Tagle—will be held at Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Intramuros, Manila, on Saturday, Jan. 10.

“A People of Compassion”—the forum with Archbishop Villegas—will be at the University of Santo Tomas on Monday, Jan. 12.

Both fora will start at 8:30 a.m.

Mercy, compassion

Tagle and Villegas are among the five Philippine-based official members of the Pope’s 32-member delegation. The others are Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, the papal nuncio to the Philippines, and the nunciature’s two secretaries.

In recent synods, Tagle and Villegas cut a higher profile, both for their relative youth (they are both only in their fifties) and for the message they conveyed.

For instance, at the October 2012 Synod of Bishops, held under Pope Benedict XVI, both Tagle and Villegas made interventions that anticipated Pope Francis’ repeated emphasis on mercy and compassion.

Power of silence

Tagle turned heads when he spoke of the power of silence.

“Confronted with the sorrows, doubts and uncertainties of people, she cannot pretend to give easy solutions,” Tagle said. “In Jesus, silence becomes the way of attentive listening, compassion and prayer. It is the way to truth.”

No place for pride

Villegas made a similarly notable plea for greater humility within the Church.

“The Gospel cannot thrive in pride,” Villegas said. “When pride seeps into the heart of the Church, the Gospel proclamation is harmed.”

Archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope in March 2013 and chose the name Francis.


EARLIER REPORT FROM THE INQUIRER

Pope’s itinerary: ‘Our official joy begins now’ Tina G. Santos @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:32 AM | Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Pope Francis will arrive late afternoon of Jan. 15 and will host a luncheon for Supertyphoon “Yolanda” survivors in Tacloban City on Jan. 17. On Jan. 18, he will meet with religious leaders at the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) and hold a Mass at Manila’s Rizal Park, before flying back to the Vatican on Jan. 19.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Friday released Pope Francis’ official itinerary during his first visit to the country from Jan. 15 to 19, following his apostolic visit to Sri Lanka.

“Today, our official joy begins …. Pope Francis is bringing the joy of the Gospel personally to us on the five special days in January we have officially announced,” CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in a statement.

“When Pope Francis comes, he will show us the face of God. When the Pope sees us Filipinos, may he see the living God in us,” Villegas added.

Welcome rites

According to the itinerary provided by Church officials, the Pope’s plane will arrive at 5:45 p.m. on Jan. 15, 2015, at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City, where the official welcome rites for the Holy Father will be held.

At 9 a.m. of the following day, a welcome ceremony will be held at Malacañang when the Pope pays a courtesy visit to President Aquino.

At 10:15 a.m., Pope Francis will have a meeting with officials and the diplomatic corps at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall in Malacañang.

At 11:15 a.m., the Pope will deliver the homily during a Mass with bishops, priests and members of the religious community at Manila Cathedral in Intramuros.

At 5:30 in the afternoon, he will meet with families at SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Pope will fly to Tacloban on Jan. 17 and will hold a Mass at the Tacloban international airport at 10 a.m., after which he will join survivors of Yolanda for lunch at the Archbishop’s Residence in Palo town. This will be followed by the blessing of the Pope Francis Center for the Poor at 3 p.m.

Before he departs for Manila, Pope Francis will meet with priests, members of the religious community, seminarians and families of Yolanda survivors at the Cathedral of Palo at 3:30 p.m.

Religious leaders

At 9:45 a.m. on Jan. 18, the Holy Father will have a brief meeting with religious leaders at UST in Manila. He will then meet with the youth at the UST sports field at 10:30 a.m. before holding a Mass at 3:30 p.m. at Manila’s Rizal Park.

Pope Francis will leave for Rome at 10 a.m. on Jan. 19 after a departure ceremony at the Presidential Pavilion of Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.

The Pope will be coming in from Colombo, where he will canonize Sri Lanka’s first saint, the Rev. Giuseppe Baz, a 17th-century missionary credited with reviving the Catholic faith in the country. This is Pope Francis’ second trip to Asia, following his August pilgrimage to South Korea.

All about security

About 95 percent of the government’s preparations for the papal visit are all about security, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said during a press briefing at the Archdiocese of Manila.

But Ochoa, who chairs the national organizing committee for the visit, declined to say whether the Pope would travel on a bulletproof vehicle or an open Popemobile when he goes around Manila and Tacloban.

“It’s a matter of security, so let’s not get into details. We want to make sure the Pope is safe,” Ochoa said, adding that the government was also preparing for “surprises” the Pope might pull off.

‘Pope of surprises’

Pope Francis has become known as the “Pope of surprises,” sometimes sneaking out of the Vatican at night to visit and talk to the poor, and to give them food.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle similarly declined to divulge details on the Pope’s accommodations.

“Again, [it’s a matter of] security. Basta may matutulugan siya (He’ll definitely have a place to sleep),” Tagle said, eliciting laughter from the crowd.

Asked why the Pope will be spending more time in Manila than in Tacloban when the papal visit was meant to comfort Yolanda survivors, the Church official said: “In this visit, we believe symbolism matters a lot. The brief time he will be in Tacloban will mean more in terms of making the survivors feel his love.”

Special task force

A special task force, “Papal Visit 2015,” led by Philippine National Police Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina will be in charge of security arrangements for the papal visit.

“We will conduct extensive security coverage and other public safety services in all areas of engagements and adjacent areas during the papal visit. It is imperative that the security and safety of the Pope be given utmost priority,” according to PNP Director General Alan Purisima, a member of the multiagency Papal Visit National Organizing Committee overseeing security arrangements for the event.

These include public safety assistance, police services for crowd control, vehicular and pedestrian traffic direction and routes, parking and venue security.

The PNP will also provide operational support for the Presidential Security Group, which is in charge of close-in security and safety services for Pope Francis and the papal entourage. With a report from Julie M. Aurelio


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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