Cebu archdiocese launches activities for 2016 congress

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

REPORTS about a Jan. 15, 2015 visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines circulated yesterday but Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma prefers to receive word about the matter from Vatican.

The Catholic News Agency posted a story last June 11 quoting Msgr. Nevin Perera, coordinator of Sri Lankan migrants in Italy, who said that Pope Francis will arrive in Colombo in the morning of January 13 and will leave for the Philippines in the morning of January 15.

Palma yesterday said they have not been told of the Pope’s itinerary during that visit.


He, however, said that possible details regarding the Pope’s visit may be revealed once they meet with church officials during the Plenary Assembly nest week for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in 2016.

“If we meet for the plenary assembly in July, then we would be oriented of the schedule of the Holy Father. Then we will know where he will be visiting,” Palma said.

Church officials are set to conduct an ocular inspection on some sites of the IEC starting July 1 to 9, he added.

Palma said the Pope’s visit to the Philippines is because of his great concern for the Filipinos, especially after the country was hit by calamities last year.

But while awaiting confirmation from Vatican, organizers of the 2016 IEC led by Palma proceeded to launch programs related to the event, like the Piso Para sa Misa ng Mundo (One Peso for the Mass of the World or PPMM).

Fr. Charles Louis Jayme, chairperson, said that based on the program, Catholics of all ages can do their part in helping make the IEC successful by contributing one peso.

“Every peso of every Christian faithful symbolizes not only his financial contribution, but more importantly, it symbolizes his involvement as part of the greater Christian community in making the IEC possible,” Jayme said.

Organizers of the IEC are distributing boxes to different parishes, Catholic schools and business establishments nationwide as part of their efforts to gain funding for the event.


As of yesterday, about 2,800 boxes have been distributed in different parishes across the country, Jayme revealed.

Elvira Go, IEC National Promotions and Publicity Committee chairperson, said that they are also seeking help from Filipino Catholic communities in different parts of the world.

They have also sought help from other sectors, including those involved in showbusiness, to help with their campaign.

Jayme said that in the spirit of transparency, he plans to provide an audit report to the media on a “periodic” basis.

Go added that they plan to come up with a catechesis that would serve as a primer regarding the PPMM that they would distribute to the parishes.

Aside from the PPMM, organizers are also coming up with other ways to get more financial support for the IEC.

Msgr. Dennis Villarojo, who is the secretary for the IEC’s Local Committee, said that aside from PPMM, they are getting funds through the use of the IEC’s official logo and songs through a copyright.

They are also getting support from some companies and from generous donors.

Construction on

Officials in charge for the construction of the Eucharistic Pavilion reported that formal construction has begun at the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos.

Architect Ramon Vios Jr. of the IEC’s Venues Committee revealed that they have started construction and have already installed concrete foundations for the building.

Vios said they are working on a P300 million budget, which he expects to increase.

He welcomed, though, the Cebu City Government’s granting of their request to waive some government fees, particularly on the payment of permits and locational clearances for the building’s construction.

Vios said that they were able to save about P1.5 million worth of fees. JKV

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 26, 2014.

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