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Pope envoy surprises IEC youth volunteers

CEBU, Philippines - “It’s like the Pope was here with us.”

 This was how college student Sean Sacal and the rest of the youth volunteers describe their excitement Tuesday night when the Archdiocese gave them a simple treat to thank them for their help in the preparations for the International Eucharistic Congress.

While everyone was on their way home, more than 500 volunteers were given a simple treat and a surprise visit by pontifical legate Charles Cardinal  Bo.

Amid heavy downpour in Cebu City, the representative of Pope Francis sneaked into the Pavilion to personally thank the youth for the several months of help in the preparations for the IEC event.

 Sacal said that being IEC volunteers is a blessing and being visited by Cardinal Bo makes them even happier.

 “It is a blessing for us being in this once in a lifetime event and with his (Cardinal Bo) visit, all of our hard work paid off,” said Sacal in behalf of his group.

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 The Cardinal, Sacal added, has an aura similar to that of the Pope.

Cardinal Bo delivered a short message of gratitude to the volunteers and to the workers at the Pavilion that are serving the delegates.

Bo said the IEC preparations have been difficult just like an army operation. “Your service may not be seen by all directly. Many are unseen. They see the success. But all of us depend on your generosity.”

 Bo transferred from one table to another where volunteers and workers were seated and told them “thank you” and “salamat.” He also allowed the volunteers to have selfies with him.

The young volunteers work in various services offered at the Pavilion including the serving of meals to delegates. They also usher delegates and man the help desks.

 Most of them are college students from University of San Jose-Recoletos and University of San Carlos. — (FREEMAN)

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