More than 300 young people and Catholic faithful from Metro Manila joined the thanksgiving program for the new Pontiff organized by onebillionstories.com and YouthPinoy at the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians (MHC) in Parañaque City.
Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB, the rector of MHC said the activity was a show of loyalty to the pontiff, which for the Salesians is a distinctive part of their congregation’s devotion.
“Together with one billion stories, I injected to have this event because it is one of the legacy of our founder, St. John Bosco. Don Bosco, as he is commonly known have three devotions, which are the Holy Eucharist, our Mother Mary and the Holy Father. I cannot let this opportunity pass without this community getting involved in expressing visibly our fidelity and loyalty to the new Holy Pontiff,” Dimaranan said.
Dimaranan stressed that Pope Francis’ inspiration of serving the poor like what St. Francis of Assisi did will positively affect his Petrine ministry.
“He shows the humility of St. Francis and Christ. He shows what it means to serve and to serve truly means being with the people, working with and working for [them]. What amazed me the first time that he went out of the balcony was when he bowed down asking for prayers to the Lord so that the Lord will bless him,” Dimaranan added.
The salesian priest believes the Pope will catch the attention of the youth and also thinks Pope Francis is a very alert person, open minded, and simple.
Who would not be attracted to that, Dimaranan said.
When asked if he thinks the Pope will have the chance to visit the Philippines, Dimarana replied that what the Pope told Cardinal Tagle is very indicative of his love for the Filipino people, his great hope for “us and the Philippine Church”.
“This is an indicator that the Pope will not let an opportunity pass without coming to visit our country.”
Meanwhile, Fr. Eligio Santos, SDB, parish priest of MHC thanked all the attendees of the rally for the Pope.
He reminded them to diligently observe the three devotions of Don Bosco which are the Eucharist, Mother Mary and the Holy Father.
The simple program showcased a prayer for the new Pontiff and chants from the faithful shouting the Pope’s name in Italian, “Viva il Papa Francesco”.
The event also served as a closing program of the prayer vigil organized by YouthPinoy and the Archdiocesan Commission on Youth of Manila (ACY-Manila) held at the Arzobispado Chapel last March 12 and 13 for the conclave.
Praying for the pope
In a related development, representatives from various segments of the Educative-Pastoral Community of Don Bosco Technical College-Mandaluyong trooped to the chapel morning of March 16 to attend the Eucharistic celebration offered for the intentions of the new Pontiff, Pope Francis.
Celebrated by the school rector, Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB, the celebration was a show of filial devotion to the new Pope.
In his homily, Macasaet said that the election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to the Papacy shows indeed that God’s ways are beyond man’s ways and God’s thoughts are beyond “ours”.
Macasaet encouraged everyone to persevere in praying for the Pope, especially after the initial uproar of jubilation has faded.
He reminded attendees about St. John Bosco’s devotion to the Pope, that is, to the dignity bestowed by God to this holy office, and not to any specific personality.
“Pope Francis, your children from Don Bosco Mandaluyong loves you dearly,” he furthered. (Jandel Posion)