Visit of Pope Francis to Asia
Betty (Beatriz Millena) and me went to Thailand with a group of Cambodians as part of a pilgrimage to meet pope Francis. It was a great moment. I would like to share with you some of our experience over there. In his first talk, pope Francis called to welcome the migrants, to the protection of women and children against exploitation, the abuses and slavery, to an action against one of the worst illness in the world, the traffic of human beings which feeds forced labor and sexual tourism. Francis met with the different religious leaders of the country, inviting them «not to be afraid to meet together». In his homily at the cathedral, he invited the youth to show courage and to commit themselves for justice and peace for all. As usual, Francis infringes the protocol many times, stopping to kiss the children, and blessing the sick and aged people on his way.
Pedro Émilio Ramírez
Mass at the Tokyo Dome, Japan ….
A pope came and… I saw – Francis smiled and greeted… I was touched – 50,000 voices acclaiming and singing… I quivered – All life to be protected and dignity of the human being… I prayed – Earth, sea, sun, cross and resurrection… I celebrated…Here in a few words yesterday, hoping that you may detect all the emotions that rushed within me, bringing with them some freshness to my spirituality. Arriving early at the Tokyo Dome, where plays the famous team of the Giants of Tokyo, I had the chance to sit in the second row, facing the altar and pope Francis.
Charles-Aimé Bolduc, Meeting with victims of a triple catastrophe …
It is in that context that I received an invitation to participate in memory of the passing away of our confrere André Lachapelle. Among those 300 representatives, many members of the families of the victims, volunteers who keep on offering help and support to the victims, people in charge of Caritas and also many journalists were present…Three survivors gave a testimony…A female teacher talked about ow she fought to save the life of children during the tsunami, a Buddhist monk whose temple was located 11 kilometers from the nuclear central of Fukushima shared his dismay facing the dispersion throughout the country of the followers at his temple…a student of 17 years old shared that, following the nuclear accident, his family had to urgently evacuate and be shunted around from one shelter to another…and he had to endure the sarcastic remarks of other students calling him «contaminated small germ». In answer to those three testimonies, the pope delivered the following message: the stakes of war, of natural disasters, of refugees, of food, of economical disparities and of the environment cannot be treated separately. According to him, those questions are all interrelated and must be considered as a whole.