MANILA, Jan. 27, 2015— Family and friends of Kristel Mae Padasas paid their last respects earlier today to a Catholic charity worker who died after the papal Mass in Tacloban City.
Following the funeral Mass at Sto. Niño Parish Church in Taguig City, Padasas’ remains were interred at the nearby Heritage Park Mortuary and Crematory on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 27.
Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, said by the aid worker’s service to the Church, especially to the poor, she “followed the example of Mary, who went in haste to be with her cousin Elizabeth.”
“By the prayers of the Church, your journey – at this moment painful for us – will finish at the gates of the heavenly home where the merciful father already awaits you,” Pinto said.
Padasas was volunteering at the Tacloban’s airport last Jan. 17 when a scaffolding holding a speaker collapsed, shook by strong winds brought by tropical storm Amang shortly after Pope Francis departed.
She was rushed to a nearby hospital after the accident where she was pronounced dead after suffering a fractured skull.
Padasas, 27, worked as a volunteer for the Catholic Relief Services’ rehabilitation projects in Samar areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda in 2013.
Upon his return from Tacloban, Pinto said Pope Francis “spent [a] long time in prayer” in the chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila.
“In the Eucharistic presence of Jesus, he remembered Kristel Mae Padasas, innocent victim of the collapse of [a] structure, toppled by the wind; he thought of her parents ,Paolino and Judy, and he invoked the love of Christ crucified on a family left without its only child,” he said.
The Pope also met with the girl’s father at the Nunciature the following day.
During remarks to the youth at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Pope Francis also asked for a moment of silence and prayer in honor of the aid worker.
The CRS said Padasas’ dedication to the people affected by the typhoon extended beyond her official work with CRS.
“Her colleagues remember her as someone who loved to laugh and who was always ready to assist outside her normal duties. She found great joy in being able to contribute to the recovery effort by working directly with communities and families,” the CRS said. (CBCPNews)