Pope Francis met with father of volunteer who died in Tacloban
MANILA, Philippines–Pope Francis on Sunday met with the father of Kristel Mae Padasas, the 27-year-old volunteer of the Catholic Relief Service who died after she was hit by a falling steel scaffolding in Tacloban.
The Vatican Radio reported that Padasas’ father, Paulino, met the Pope on Sunday in the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila. The encounter lasted over 20 minutes with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle acting as interpreter.
Pope Francis gave Padasas’ father a rosary.
According to Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, two childhood photos of Kristel were on the table during the meeting. He said the father was consoled by the fact that Padasas helped prepare for the Pope’s arrival.
Before addressing the youth at the University of Santo Tomas on Sunday, Pope Francis called on the people to offer a moment of silence and prayer for Padasas.
Padasas worked for Catholic Relief Services, the US bishops’ international relief and development agency, on a recovery project for Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan).
“Her dedication to the people affected by the typhoon extended beyond her official work with CRS,” the organization said in a statement. “She traveled a great distance to volunteer at today’s papal Mass and to remember the victims of Haiyan.”
The CRS Philippines mourns her loss along with her family, friends and loved ones, the statement said.
“Her colleagues remember her as someone who loved to laugh and who was always ready to assist outside her normal duties,” it said. “She found great joy in being able to contribute to the recovery effort by working directly with communities and families. Our deepest prayers are with Kristel’s family and loved ones.”