Filipinos living and working in Thailand and Japan have been urged to help make the visit of Pope Francis to Asia this week a success, according to United Catholic News (Ucan).
Bishop Ruperto Santos, head of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, called on Filipino Catholics to attend activities during the Pope’s visits of Bangkok in Thailand, and Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki in Japan.
“We appeal to our [migrant workers], especially in Japan, to take this as God’s graces and gifts to serve as volunteers in their archdioceses and chaplaincies,” said the prelate.
The bishop of Balanga, Bataan, urged Filipino Catholics to attend the Pope’s masses.
“Those who are free to participate, offer your time, talents and even treasures for this grace-filled and historic visit of the Holy Father,” said Bishop Santos.
Some 265,000 Filipinos live in Japan, one of the largest expatriate communities.
In Thailand, there are 18,000 Filipinos, either migrants or descendants of migrants from the Philippines.
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said the Pope would highlight the themes of mission, environmental protection and peace during his Asian trip.
Catholics in China
Catholics in communist China have mixed views about the Pope’s Asian trip, according to Ucan.
Ucan reported that “Father Liu of Hebei “expressed optimism about the trip and described it as a gesture of his concern for the Asian Church.
He said the Asian trip “shows that the Pope’s footsteps to China are getting closer and closer.”
But Ucan also quoted Wang Baolu, a Catholic in Hebei, who criticized the Pope for signing a secret agreement with the communists on the appointment of bishops.
The move has not improved religious freedom but has led to more persecution, Wang said.
He added he did not want the Pope to visit China. “Whether he comes or not makes no difference. Is he coming to see how badly we are being betrayed by him?”
He said he was worried that if the Pope came to sign another agreement with the Chinese Communist Party, the China Church would be “completely handed over to Satan.”
Caritas Margins Church Social Enterprise held recently the “Buy and Give Trade Fair 7” at Glorietta Activity Center, Ayala Center, Makati.
Caritas Margins is a nonstock, nonprofit organization that markets quality products of microentrepreneurs from all over the Philippines. The trade fair benefited poor microentrepreneurs and partner cooperatives nationwide. The proceeds will also support the scholars of Caritas Manila Youth Servant Leadership Education Program.
There are 12 Caritas Margins outlets: Caritas Manila Pandacan, Greenbelt 3, Glorietta 4, Market! Market!, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Delos Santos Medical Center, Ali Mall, Fairview Terraces, Alabang Town Center, Greenfield District, San Ildefonso Parish and Holy Trinity Parish.