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  • » 09/24/2014, 00.00


    Manila’s street children write to Pope Francis: "Come to see us!"

    With the help of Card Tagle, former street children - now being helped by an NGO - have sent a thousand letters to Francis. The goal is to get a meeting with the Pope during his apostolic visit in January. A video shows the children as they write the letters to the Pope and talk about their past.

    Manila (AsiaNews) - With the help of Card. Luis Antonio Tagle, a group of former street children from Metro Manila have written a thousand letters, in the hope of securing an audience with Pope Francis, during his apostolic journey to the Philippines next year. An ambitious and unprecedented initiative promoted four months ahead of the Argentine Pontiff's arrival in the Asian country, scheduled for January 15 to 19. The Archbishop of the capital wanted to join the project, devoting most of his time with the young people, who have been saved from the streets and are now under the protection of the Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation (TNK Foundation).

    According to reports from the Archdiocese of Manila, Cardinal Tagle (pictured with some children) will deliver over a thousand letters to Pope Farncis written by the children of TNK, an NGO whose mission is to save children from a streets life of vagrancy, drugs, prostitution and begging in Metro Manila. The spokesperson for the foundation Alexandra Chapeleau explains that children "have decided to write to him," because they would love for the Pope to "visit them" and "are looking forward to his response with great hope".

    On September 21, Card Tagle left the Philippines and arrived in Rome, where next month the Synod on the Family is scheduled. He will carry the children's message to the Pope, and they have already spread news of their initiative online via the hashtag #EvenUs, which has been retweeted by the French "sister" NGO Anak.

    "We want the video made by the children to be seen by as many people as possible and, above all, by the Pope himself," remarked Thierry d'Arcangues, social media manager of Anak. He also urged the public to help the children realize their dream of a meeting with the Pope, sharing and re-tweeting the video. It contains images of the  children writing their letters to the Pope and passages in which they describe the life lived in the street.

    During his apostolic journey to the Philippines, Francis will visit areas affected by the typhoon Yolanda in November last year. However, the final schedule for the Papal visit is still being finalized. This is why members of the organizing committee have travelled to Rome with Card. Tagle. In recent days, the Archbishop of Manila posted on the Bishops' Conference website (CBCP), that Francis' visit will focus "on Mercy and Compassion" and allow everyone to experience the "grace" of the Christian message.


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    See also

    11/09/2014 PHILIPPINES
    Card. Tagle: Pope Francis’ visit will make a difference in the lives of the Filipino people
    The Archbishop of Manila writes a pastoral letter to the Catholic community. His memories of Paul VI’s journey (1970) and its influence on his spiritual life. An invitation to share - at the end of the trip - their own stories.

    19/01/2015 PHILIPPINES - VATICAN
    Evangelicals, Muslims, and indigenous Filipinos, grateful for the pope's visit
    Before he left, Pope Francis met with the parents of the volunteer who died in Tacloban. Evangelical leader Eddie Villanueva urged the members of his church to attend the meetings with the pope. Muslim and indigenous leaders ask the pope for his help in peace talks in Mindanao.

    16/01/2015 PHILIPPINES - VATICAN
    Card. Tagle: Music, faith, the secrets of the Philippine Church that boldly rises from disasters
    The archbishop of Manila greets Francis after Mass in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception: "This cathedral has been raised to the ground many times but refuses to vanish, It boldly rises from the ruins. You bring fire not to destroy but to purify. You bring an earthquake not to shatter, but to awaken, you bring weapons to assure, to encourage". The full text of the Cardinal’s address.

    27/12/2014 PHILIPPINES - VATICAN
    Manila: Islamic leader calls on Muslims to follow Pope Francis for world peace
    Ebra Moxsir M. al-Haj, head of the Imam Council of the Philippines and chaplain of the Philippine National Police, speaks on Know The Truth programme, praising Francis' efforts in favour of the good and peace in the world against all forms of extremism, which must be backed all the way. He calls on Muslims to welcome the pontiff and understand his words.

    28/05/2014 PHILIPPINES - VATICAN
    For Manila bishop, papal visit ought to spur greater efforts to help typhoon survivors
    Mgr Pabillo, Manila's auxiliary bishop, criticises the government for its slow reconstruction efforts in the areas devastated by Typhon Haiyan. "In eight months, the Philippines will be the focus of world attention. We must do more," he said.

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