Candy Pangilinan Joins Love Our Pope Movement (LOPM) – OpEd


Filipino film actress and social media influencer, Candy Pangilinan, is one of the LOPM convenors, attended the relaunch of the “Global Campaign of 1-Million Spiritual Bouquets for the Holy Father” for Pope Francis’ good health.

She was also blessed and privileged to be a part of the Washing of the Feet at the Manila Cathedral last Holy Thursday of the Holy Week, led by Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula.

LOPM is an international Catholic movement, in which “volunteerism is its physical arm, synodality its process, prayers with sacrifice its spiritual weapon, and the new evangelization its focus, always under the guidance of our bishops and parish priests.”

Sr. Nathalie Becquart, XMCJ, Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, and Br. Armin Luistro, FSC, Superior General of the Christian Brothers, are two of the Honorary Convenors of the movement.

Last year, in her encouraging message sent to the LOPM, Sr. Nathalie said that the movement “is a strong support for the synodal journey of our Church and our Holy Father, Pope Francis. LOPM is a spiritual network that serves as a leaven, mobilizing people for the renewal that the Holy Spirit is bringing about here and now.” 

The Catholic movement that began in the Philippines is now growing and evolving, supported by 21 bishop advisors from the Philippines, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Cook Islands in the Pacific. 

Convenors and coordinators are stationed in Italy, Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom, Indonesia, United States, Ethiopia, and Australia, with one Superior General, several provincial superiors and presidents of Catholic organizations in the national level.

Global Campaign of 1-Million Spiritual Bouquets for the Pope—Relaunching 

The core group of the Love Our Pope Movement (LOPM) in the Philippines met in Manila on April 2, 2024, using the occasion to relaunch the “Global Campaign of 1-Million Spiritual Bouquets for the Holy Father” for his good health. This author, Dr. Jose Mario Bautista Maximiano, LOPM lead convenor and Catholic author, led the synodal discussions.

The global campaign of 1-million spiritual bouquets for the Holy Father began early this year as a lovely gift to Pope Francis on the occasion of the eleventh anniversary of his election as Vicar of Christ and Bishop of Rome.

According to Most Rev. Edgar Gacutan, CICM, Bishop of Sendai, Japan, and LOPM Bishop Advisor, “Pope Francis faces many challenges, including opposition to his way of leading our dear Church,” and the global campaign is one of the ways to support Pope Francis. 

The campaign is being participated in by different dioceses, international congregations and Catholic organizations, such as the Global La Salle of the Christian Brothers and Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, or PWPN, Knights of Columbus, the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, the Conference of Major Superiors of the Philippines, schools and parishes in the Philippines and other countries. 

The Role of LOPM in a Synodal Church

The discussions during the April 2 meeting revolved around the theme: “The Role of LOPM in a Synodal Church.” The meeting also used a live interactive video chat with a LOPM coordinator from the United States. 

It was held in Pateros, Diocese of Pasig, which was one of the historical convents, the same headquarters the first Philippine president used in the 19th century, according to Father Jhun Sanchez, Parish Priest of San Roque and one of the LOPM convenors present.

The participants in the meeting confirmed that the role of LOPM in a Synodal Church is to support the Pope of Synodality. LOPM’s most fundamental objective is for more people to love Jesus Christ and to love his Vicar on earth, for loving our Pope is a concrete manifestation of loving Jesus, the Head of the Church.

LOPM is one of the most meaningful fruits reaped from the synodal process, the listening-and-walking-together process that was initiated by Pope Francis in 2021 towards a synodal Church.

Dr Jose Mario Bautista Maximiano

Dr. José Mario Bautista Maximiano is the lead convenor of the Love Our Pope Movement (LOPM) International. Jose Mario Bautista Maximiano, based in the Philippines capital Manila, is a Catholic scholar, public educator and columnist. He is author of the three-volume work on the Chronological and Thematic Essays: 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines.

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