Manila (AsiaNews/Cbcp) - The visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines and, in particular, his scheduled stop at the Catholic University of St. Thomas (UST), will be an opportunity for young people to "renew their lives, offering them in service to the Lord and to others." These are the words of the rector of the Catholic Archbishop of Manila, Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, OP, who believes that the meeting between the students and the Argentine Pope will be a "special moment" of the apostolic visit scheduled next month. On 18 January 2015, Francis will cross the threshold of the UST to meet with the young people.
When the Pope "interacts with young people using the language of mercy, compassion, and with joy in spreading God's love to them," said the rector, the youth, in return, "with grateful hearts are inspired to a renewed life offered to the service of the Lord and others". The Filipino youth, he added, are constantly looking for someone "worthy to look up to and emulate," someone who "understands them and expresses authentic love."
According to Fr. Dagohoy the University feels "enormously blessed and honored" to host this meeting between the Pope and young people.
The event will be attended by youth delegations from of all the dioceses of the Philippines, by members of the Association for Catholic Education (Ceap), by representatives of Catholic Universities (Acup), as well as by young participants in the 2nd Conference on the New Evangelization (Pcne).
In preparation for the meeting, the young people will give life to moments of prayer, the recitation of the Rosary, songs and hymns, as well as sing songs especially composed to welcome the Pope. The day will begin at 6:30 am, the arrival of Pope Francis is scheduled for 10:30. Within the context, there will also be testimonies and stories of faith offered by young people; in addition to his speech, the Pope will recite the Angelus at noon, after which he will travel to Luneta Park, where he is scheduled to celebrate Mass at 3pm.