2015-01-18 08:05:00

Pope Francis meets father of woman who died in accident at Mass

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday met with the father of Kristel Padasas, the 27-year old volunteer who died at Saturday’s Mass in Tacloban.

Padasas was mortally injured when scaffolding by the stage where the Mass took place collapsed during the wind caused by Tropical Storm Anang, which was approaching the area.

The meeting took place in the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila, and lasted over 20 minutes, with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle acting as an interpreter. 

The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, said during the meeting, two childhood photos of Kristen were on the table. He also said the father was shocked by his daughter’s death, but consoled by the fact that she had been able to help prepare for the arrival of the Pope.

Kristel’s mother was in Hong Kong at the time of the accident, and is due back in the Philippines on Monday.

During his meeting with young people on Sunday morning, Pope Francis led a prayer for Kristel and her parents.

Kristel worked for the U.S. bishops’ international relief and development agency, Catholic Relief Services, on a recovery project for Typhoon 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 Typhoon Haiyan.”

The statement also said CRS Philippines mourns her loss along with her family, friends and loved ones.

“[Kristel] colleagues remember her as someone who loved to laugh and who was always ready to assist outside her normal duties,” it continues.  “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.”

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