“Totus Tuus” is the title of a week-long event being prepared to mark the 31st anniversary of the visit of Blessed John Paul II to Bacolod city on Feb 20, 1981.
It means, “I’m yours completely!” which was JP II’s papal motto, said Monsignor Victorino Rivas who heads the group that is preparing for the festivities.
“Totus Tuus!” was the cry that had rang out in the streets of Bacolod when the Papal motorcade came in 1981, the organizers said.
Rivas, at a press conference held yesterday at the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, or Redemptorist Church in Bacolod, said the former pope, who is on track to sainthood, had come to Bacolod 31 years ago with a “message of hope” for its people.
“This year marks the 31st anniversary of the historic event that rekindled the faith and renewed hope in this part of the Catholic world,” Rivas said. He recalled that JP II had come to Bacolod when the province was in deep, deep crisis socially, economically and politically.
“He came to Bacolod to give us hope. Together with Bishop Antonio Y Fortich, he had encouraged us and showed us there was so much hope for a better life for the Philippines and Negros,” he said.
Rivas is director of the JP II National Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family which is organizing “Totus Tuus: Celebrating Blessed John Paul II in Bacolod Feb 13 to 20, 2012.
“The Pope had come then at a time when we needed hope. We have all the reasons to celebrate,” Rivas said.
‘Totus Tuus!’ Week on February 13-20, 2012, a weeklong event that will highlight, among others, the institutions that have risen in Bacolod in honor of Blessed John Paul II, Rivas said.
So far Bacolod is home to three JP II Institutions—the Pope John Paull II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family located at the University of Saint La Salle Campus, the JP II Cultural Center located at the Sacred Heart Seminary along Lacson Street, and the JP II Tower at the Reclamation Area, Rivas said.
On ‘Totus Tuus’ Week, two more will be added—the Centro Giovanni Paolo II, which will serve as “retreat and resort facility” in Brgy. Punta Taytay, and will be officially launched with a ‘Totus Tuus’ Night on February 14, and the Centro Giovanni Paolo II Research Center at Lacson Street to be opened on February 15, he said.
With five JP II Institutions, Bacolod is one of the cities in the country with the most number of JP II Institutions, Rivas added.
“The JP II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family is not just a school named after the Pope, but is his living legacy. The Pope himself put up this school to promote the plan of God to put sanctity and dignity of marriage,” Fr. Nitodel Soriano, director of the Diocesan Lay Formation Center of the Diocese of Bacolod and a professor of JP II Institute, who joined Rivas in the press conference,” said.
‘Totus Tuus’ Week will also be highlighted by a national conference on Nuptial Theology from February 13 to 17, 2012 at the Planta Centro Bacolod Hotel and Residences in this city.
The conference will revolve around “Blessed John Paul II’s Nuptial Theology: Call to Family Ministry, Agenda for Humanity” will be hosted by the JP II Institute and the Diocese of Bacolod.
About 200 participants are expected to attend, such as the Diocesan directors and executive officers of the Commission on Family and Life, heads of Family Life Movements, heads of Catholic schools, Family Life ministers, and clergy, Rivas said.
Among the prominent guests are Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, and Msgr. Jose Granados, vice president of Pontifico Istituto Giovanni Paolo II in Rome, Rivas said.*EFJT