• Pope’s visit to boost priestly vocations

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    AN official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) believes that the mere presence of Pope Francis in the country will help encourage young Filipinos to enter the priesthood.

    Sr. Mary Anthony Basa, CBCP’s executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Culture, on Monday said the visit of Francis to the Philippines in January next year will be a “grace moment” for Filipinos.

    He added that the pope will foster “a deeper faith and hope in God” among the people.

    “Talagang nakikita ko rin dito ay magkakaroon ng maraming bokasyon sa religious life, priestly vocation ([I really see that many priestly vocations will result from Francis’ visit],” Basa said.

    From January 15 to 19, Pope Francis will be in the Philippines to personally visit the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Central Visayas.

    But before he sets foot on Philippine soil, he will first visit Sri Lanka from January 13 to 15.

    Basa said the pontiff’s visit will bring hope, charity and forgiveness, mercy and compassion to millions of people experiencing social injustice, especially survivors of Yolanda and similar calamities.

    She encouraged all Filipinos to prepare themselves spiritually for the apostolic visit, which according to her is an event that can strengthen the bonds of the Filipino family as well. ROBERTZON F. RAMIREZ

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