MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The encounter of Pope Francis with the youth at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) will also be open to the public on January 18, the 4th day of his visit in the country.
However, the university’s football field and grandstand will be allocated only to around 24,000 youth delegates, said Giovanna Fontanilla, director of the UST Office of Public Affairs in a press conference on Monday, December 22.
Certain gates will be assigned for the public to enter the university. There will also be designated areas where they could stay, “so that they will have a glimpse of the Holy Father,” she added.
Fontanilla reiterated that no tickets will be distributed to people who would want to attend the UST event. “They [could] just come to the university, because it is one rare opportunity for them to see the Holy Father. We would like to provide them with that wonderful opportunity of seeing him,” she said.
The university feels “extremely blessed and honored” that the Holy Father will have the encounter with the young people there, said UST rector Rev. Fr. Herminio Dagohoy in a statement read by Fontanilla during the press conference.
“This momentous sojourn of Pope Francis is meaningful to the Filipino youth, as they are constantly in search of someone worthy to look up to and to emulate, someone who understands them and expresses authentic love,” Fr. Dagohoy said.
“Pope Francis appeals to the youth because they see Jesus in him,” he added.
3 young Pinoys to share testimonies
During the program at the UST, a college student, an out-of-school youth, and a Typhoon Yolanda relief volunteer will share their testimonies in the presence of the Holy Father.
Pope Francis will then deliver his message to the Filipino youth, followed by prayers and intercessions to be given by 7 youth delegates, speaking in different dialects, from different parts of the country.
The Pope will also lead the praying of the Angelus at around noon, afterwhich he would leave the university.
Representatives of the following organizations will occupy the UST football field and grandstand:
- Archdiocesan Commissions on the Youth
- Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on the Youth
- Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP)
- Member-schools of the Association of Catholic Universities of the Philippines
- Youth participants of the 2nd Philippine Conference on New Evangelization, which will run parallel with Pope Francis’ visit
Fr. Dagohoy ensured that all preparations for the Pope’s visit at the UST are in order “to meet the goals and the corresponding activities for this very important event to be a success.” – Rappler.com