‘Young’ PH Church theme of papal arrival, departure

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Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado joins in the fun, taking  a groupie with the children who will perform a dance number for Pope Francis when he arrives at the Villamor Airbase, Jan. 15, 2015. (Photo: Natalie Hazel Quimlat)

Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado joins in the fun, taking a groupie with the children who will perform a dance number for Pope Francis when he arrives at the Villamor Airbase, Jan. 15, 2015. (Photo: Natalie Hazel Quimlat)

VILLAMOR AIR BASE, Jan. 15, 2015–Dancing children and teenagers will give Pope Francis his first impression of the Philippine Church as nearly 1,000 youth from the Diocese of Parañaque will perform before the Holy Father upon his historic arrival tonight.

Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado said students from over 10 schools throughout the diocese will dance to welcome Pope Francis, who is set to land in this air base at 5:45 pm this afternoon.

“We are a young Church ‎and if you look at the figures, almost 60 percent of the members of the Church are young people. Therefore, we want to portray a Church that is young,” he said.

 

Sleeping early for Pope Francis

Mercado said some 160 girls, aged nine to 12, will perform a welcome dance ‎that is an Easter tradition in Parañaque.

“In Parañaque, we have a distinctive Easter tradition of welcoming the Risen Lord through a song and dance performance called ‘Pagbati’ (Greeting). It is (a re-enactment of) the encounter of Jesus and Mary in the resurrection narrative,” he said.

Kiara de Vera, 11, is one of the girls clad in a pure-white costume, holding yellow gold props while waiting at the Presidential Hangar for their queue to perform‎ the “Pagbati.” Dancing since 2013, de Vera admits feeling the jitters for being given the opportunity to perform before Pope Francis.

“I’m very happy because of the opportunity to see Pope Francis. I’m so excited that I forced myself to sleep early last night so I can look fresh and rested for our performance today,” she said in the vernacular.

A grade 6 student from St. Paul College of Parañaque, de Vera said she wishes to be able to hug and kiss Pope Francis if given a chance.

 

‘Sense of mission’

“I pray that I would be able ‎to get as close as I can to hug and kiss the Pope. I also pray for the safety of his trip,” she added.

Another group of young people, specifically teenagers, will perform a dance that Mercado describes as portraying unity to the Philippine flag.

“The teenagers will dance ‎a song that deals with peace because the Holy Father came here [to forge] peace and to unite us all. There will be an umbrella dance which will portray our unity to the Flag,” the prelate explained.

The youngsters will dance a third time to the tune of Jamie Rivera’s “Welcome, Papa Francesco” and Mercado said the entire performance will take at least 15 minutes.

As for the departure, Mercado said the Diocese has prepared another dance performance, this time involving young people from the poor.

“After the Holy Father has seen us, experienced our hospitality‎ and witnessed our faith, what now? What we want is to show him our sense of mission,” Mercado said.

“We have a mission that the Holy Father (will tell us). This dance will portray that sense of mission,” he added. ‎(CBCP News)

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One Response to ‘Young’ PH Church theme of papal arrival, departure

  1. As for the departure, Mercado said the Diocese has prepared another dance performance, this time involving young people from the poor.

    Here it is again. I read it and hear it and see it over and over again – “for the poor”, “from the poor”. Distinction between rich and poor never disappears. A center in Tacloban is erected “for the poor”. This people really have to emphasized the difference between these two groups of people – rich and poor.

    Just how materialistic society is even the hard-liner Filipino Catholics.

    I feel nauseated.

    Margot
    January 16, 2015 at 1:47 am
    Reply

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