Tag Archives: fr. george willmann

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Sainthood bid opens for Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ

By: Roberto T. Cruz

On December 7, 2015, Monday, the bells of the Manila Cathedral rang out loud as His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle presided over the milestone celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Manila Cathedral to formally open the Diocesan process of the Cause of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ.

The Liturgical Rites for the formal opening of the diocesan process preceded the Mass at 9:00am. With the entrance procession of Cardinal Tagle as the Main Celebrant together with two bishops, two monsignors and thirty-three priests who concelebrated the Mass, the Rites started with Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, the appointed Diocesan Postulator for the Cause of Fr. Willmann, giving biographical highlights of the life of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ. An Invocation of the Holy Spirit followed with the singing of Veni Creator Spiritus by the Manila Cathedral Basilica Choir.

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His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle together with the co-celebrants and officials of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines and KCFAPI. (Photo: Roy Lagarde)

Cardinal Tagle then examined and declared the legitimacy of the appointments of Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III as the Postulator and Fr. Wilmer R. Rosario, JCD as Vice-Postulator in conformity with the Code of Canon Law.

Appointed members of the Diocesan Tribunal for the Cause of Fr. Willmann were: Msgr. Geronimo F. Reyes, JCD as Episcopal Delegate; Fr. Carlo P. Del Rosario, JCL as Promoter of Justice; Ms. Teresita F. Kudemus – First Notary; Ms. Marivic M. Ambasa – Second Notary; Ms. Julieta R. Santos as Third Notary.

The Cardinal reminded them of the great responsibility, importance and seriousness of the Process for the Causes for Beatification and Canonization. As required by Church law, all the members of the Tribunal, starting with Msgr. Geronimo F. Reyes, individually took their oath to faithfully fulfill his/her commitment and then signed the Acts.

The Experts who were tapped to form the Historical Commission include: Fr. Julius Paul Factora, OP, JCD as President; Fr. Adolfo N. Dacanay, SJ, JCD – member and Fr. Sander D. Niez, JCL – member, while for the Theological Commission, the experts appointed were Fr. Alexander L. Garces, SDB, JCL – President; Fr. Enrico Eusebio, Jr., SJ, JCD – member and Sr. Maria Amparo Santos, OP, JCL – member. As with the Tribunal members, the Presidents and members of both Commissions, individually took their respective oaths and signed the Acts.

The appointed Copyist, Ms. Ronalyn Regino and Assistant Copyist, Ms. Gecerein Sayen Ocampo were called next to take their respective oaths and similarly signed in the Acts.

Then, Postulator Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III and Vice Postulator Fr. Wilmer R. Rosario, JCD individually took their respective oaths not compromise the truth and offend justice nor impede the freedom of witnesses to testify in the Cause. Thereafter, they also signed the Acts.

The Postulator then presented to Cardinal Tagle for his examination a list of witnesses to be interrogated, subject to the possible addition and revision of names in the future. Upon examining the list, the Cardinal decreed that the next session for interrogation of witnesses be held on January 11, 2016 at the Arzobispado de Manila.

Finally, after ordering the Chancellor to establish public record of this First Session, Cardinal Tagle declared the Process for the Causes of Beatification and Canonization of Servant of God, FATHER GEORGE J. WILLMANN, SJ, Father of the Order of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, OPEN.

To complete the Rites, His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle together with former Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. as Chairman of the National Executive Committee (NEC) for the Cause of Fr. Willmann, jointly unveiled the portrait of Father George J. Willmann, SJ.

Thereafter, Cardinal Tagle began the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Concelebrants were: Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco, D.D., Bishop Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, D.D., Msgr, Geronimo F. Reyes, JCD, Fr. William Arana, OSA, Fr. Carlo Magno Marcelo, Fr. Marvin Mejia, Fr. Wilmer Rosario, JCD, Fr. Carlo Del Rosario, Fr. Julius Paul Factora, OP, JCD, Fr. Sander Niez, JCL, Fr. Alex Garces, SDB, JCL, Fr. Rico Garcia, Fr. Reginald Malicdem, Fr. Darwin Faith Ponce, OSA, Fr. Ricky VIllar, OSA, Fr. Geoffrey Eborda, OSA, Fr. Genaro Supremedo, OSA, Fr. Jojo Torres, OSA, Fr. Joseph Villareal, OSA, Fr. Roy Gallano, OSA, Fr. Michael Salazar and Fr. Romel Cruz.

Also serving as Concelebrants were a number of KC Priests Scholars of the Knights of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. that included: Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, Fr. Benjamin Deogracias Fajota, Fr. Jeronimo Ma. Cruz, Fr. Antonio Rex Palaya, Fr. Melvin Gamelo, Fr. Julius Cuison, Fr. Felix Labios, Fr. Ramelle Rigunay, Fr. Randy Salunga, Fr. Joel Cariaso, Fr. Hernandez Mendoza, Fr. Julius de Sagun, Fr. Ronel Ilano, Fr. Lowie Palines and Fr. Emmanuel Hiipolito,.

In his homily, Cardinal Tagle started by citing that aside from the formal opening of the Diocesan process for Fr. Willmann, it was also the feast day of St. Ambrose, a great teacher of the Church known for his sanctity and teachings. It was also the eve of the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother Mary plus the start of the Advent season.

The Cardinal then focused on the question: What does it mean to be holy? With the opening of the Cause, he said that Fr. George J. Willmann, St. Ambrose and Mother Mary all responded to sanctity and holiness. Cardinal Tagle clarified that “Holiness is an attribute of God and not man’s achievement nor his work. It is God who is Holy and our holiness is a gift of God – our oneness with Him”.

Cardinal Tagle added that the message of the First Reading is that the Holiness of God is seen with marvelous work – like transforming a desert into a garden filled with water and flowers where we are able to drink from God’s goodness with a safe road along the holy way. The desert symbolizes humanity that is seen to be dry, fruitless, empty and even lifeless. However, when God enters, all these are transformed into a bountiful garden. God’s Holiness always creates miracles. “Whenever we experience hopelessness loaded with faults, we must not be afraid for that is the time when God will come to infuse His Holiness and cure the sickness. That is the Good News”. Cardinal Tagle added that during this season of advent, we must look deeper into our deserts in order to experience the Holiness of God.

The Cardinal then underscored that we need to respond to God’s Holiness, not like the scribes in the reading who questioned and rejected Jesus; but like the friends of the paralyzed man who looked for a nonconventional way – through the roof – to bring the paralytic closer to Jesus. Cardinal Tagle stressed the need for us to be alert, discerning with eyes of faith in order for us to respond to our Holy God in His action when we are in our desert.

The Cardinal then asked the people to pray for those entrusted with the Cause of Fr. Willmann that they may be illumined with eyes of faith. With no intention of pre-empting the Diocesan process, Cardinal Tagle simply thanked God as we are now privileged to share God’s holiness through personal experiences with Fr. Willmann and his life and ministry devoted to service that provided “fresh water and good news”, particularly to the youth, the poor and the prisoners.

The Cardinal cited his own basic formation as a Charter member of the Columbian Squires in Imus, Cavite where they helped the Church in its program for the street children. He also mentioned his appreciation for being a scholar of the Knights of Columbus during Fr. Willmann’s time.

Reiterating that God indeed transforms deserts into places of rest, peace and holiness, Cardinal Tagle ended his homily by encouraging all in attendance to be agents of God’s holiness.

People from all walks of life joined the celebration of this Mass that formally opened the Cause of Servant of God – Fr. Willmann. Also represented were various organizations established and nurtured by Fr. George including the Daughters of Isabella (now Daughters of Mary Immaculate), Catholic Youth Organization, Columbian Squires and the Knights of Columbus. Parishioners and residents with their families from nearby cities and communities of Tondo, Intramuros, Sta. Cruz, Malate and other more distant places likewise witnessed the very meaningful Opening of the diocesan process for the Cause of their “Father and Benefactor” of forty years.

Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ. devoted the last forty years of his life, not only in humble service and dynamic leadership of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, but equally being a compassionate pastor in the care and formation of the youth. He provided relief to victims of the war and of violence while also alleviating the sufferings of the poor. He likewise established ways to preserve and promote the sanctity of life, marriage and the family.

It was in 1997 or eighteen years ago that the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines first started a concerted thrust to formally lay the groundwork for the Cause of Fr. Willmann. During the Order’s centennial celebration of Fr. Willmann’s birth, the Order created a Committee on Cause composed of Ramon V. Consing, Lauro M. Cruz and Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III as co-chairmen. Notable activities of the Committee included: gathering of testimonials, launch of the Prayer for the Centennial of Fr. Willmann with the Imprimatur of Msgr. Jose C. Abriol, launching of Fr. Willmann Fellows, meeting with then Jaime Cardinal Sin and the Father Provincial of the Jesuits to seek their respective endorsements of the Cause. The Order published and distributed the pamphlet “A Glimpse…The Life and Works of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ.” in order to give due acknowledgment and recognition as well as to increase awareness about Fr. Willmann. A landmark achievement of this period was the publication of “The Gentle Warrior”, a biography of Fr. Willmann authored by Fr. James B. Reuter, SJ.

Establishing and spreading the fama sanctitatis of Fr. Willmann included the presentation and promotion of his works made more concrete by direct testimonies of various individuals whom he personally interacted with. Fr. Willmann Fellows’ one-time membership donations have been pooled to fund the production of materials such as prayer cards, publications, tarpaulins, posters to effectively promote Fr. George Willmann not only to brother Knights, but more importantly, to the youth, the poor and underprivileged of various communities.

In 2011, through the efforts of the KC Fraternal Association of the Philippines and the Knights of Columbus Fr. Willmann Charities, Inc., the National Executive Committee (NEC) for the Cause of Fr. Willmann was created with the primary function of overseeing all the initiatives relative to or in connection with the Cause.

We are blessed that the Diocesan process of the Cause of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ. has now been formally opened thereby giving us significant reason to rejoice. Henceforth, he will now be regarded Servant of God. Let us fervently pray for continued enlightenment from the Holy Spirit for everyone involved in this Diocesan process and the Cause as a whole so that our beloved Fr. George J. Willmann may ultimately be elevated to the honors of the altar.

 

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RCAM to open ‘PH Knights’ founder’s cause

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The Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) is set to open formally the diocesan process of the cause of Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J., founder of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association in the Philippines *(KCFAPI), on Monday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m., in a Mass to be presided over by Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle at the Manila Cathedral.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., who also chairs the National Executive Committee on the Cause of Fr. Willmann, notes in a letter that the “historic and momentous occasion” will mark an important milestone for the cause to raise the naturalized Filipino Jesuit to the honor of the Altar.

Road to sainthood

According to “Sanctorum Mater,” or the Instruction for the Conducting Diocesan and Eparchial Inquiries in the Causes of Saints, the diocesan process is the first step before a deceased Catholic who is proven to have lived a life of holiness and heroic virtue is considered for beatification and eventual canonization.

This allows the bishop, in whose diocese the candidate for sainthood lived and died—in this case, Tagle and RCAM, respectively—to evaluate the documentation collected and presented by his or her postulator, and ensure that the reputation of holiness or martyrdom and of intercessory power exist.

Others members of the clergy expected to grace the forthcoming event are Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, Imus Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista, and Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, III of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Media Office and postulator of the Willmann’s cause.

Founder

Dubbed the “Fr. McGivney of the Philippines” due to his dedication to expand K of C locally, Willmann worked for the radical transformation of faith into action.

Born on June 29, 1897 to very devout Catholic parents in Brooklyn, New York, the American Jesuit was later granted Philippine citizenship by President Ferdinand Marcos through Presidential Decree No. 740.

In 1938, he first served as chaplain of K of C Manila Council 1000, then returned in 1954 to become the Order’s first Philippine Deputy until his death in 1977.

All in all, the priest spent 44 fruitful and productive years in the Philippines serving the poor, the sick, the orphans, the oppressed, the lonely, and the desolate, especially the young ones.

KCFAPI, etc

Besides what is formally known as the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) which he founded in 1958, Willmann went on to establish other organizations, as follows:

  • Catholic Youth Organization (1938)
  • Establishment of the Catholic Press, “Filipinas” and the “Cross” Magazines (1946)
  • Columbian Squires in the Philippines (1950)
  • Daughters of Isabella in the Philippines (1951), reorganized as Daughters of Mary Immaculate (1977)
  • Columban Farmers Aid Association (1951), reorganized as Knights of Columbus Community Service , Inc (1962)
  • Knights of Columbus Philippines Foundation Inc (1971)

(Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)

Promotions for the Cause of Fr. Willmann continues

Promotions for the Cause of Fr. Willmann continues

The massive campaign on the Cause of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ continues this year 2015 led by its National Executive Committee (NEC) headed by Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III, Spiritual Director of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines and Director of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Media Office.

Forty parishes and more than ten communities across Metro Manila were already visited as of March 31, 2015.

The continuation of this massive campaign started in March, while the preparation began right after the Papal visit in the Philippines last January.

Forty parishes and more than ten communities across Metro Manila were already visited as of March 31.

Promotions for the 2015 KCFAPI annual fun run is also carried during the massive campaign. The proceeds will be given to the KC Foundations and to support the financial needs of the Cause.

The campaign, which started on June 2014 aims to cover the following six major areas to help in the effective awareness and promotion of the life and works of Fr. Willmann: Media, Knights of Columbus Proper, Schools, General Public, Organizations and Parishes.

The NEC is thanking the people, organizations and associations supporting the various promotional activities for the Cause of the Father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ.

Last year, from June to December 2014, various publications about Fr. Willmann and his heroic virtues have already been released both locally and internationally through the following media groups: GMA Network, ucanews, mabuhay.catholic.org, asianews and Philippines’ cbcpnews.com, among others. The NEC also conducted several awareness campaigns in more than 20 events within the Order of the Knights of Columbus.

More than 20 schools have likewise been visited (from the target of 10 schools only) including Emilio Aguinaldo College, Manila Times College, College of the Holy Spirit, Paco Catholic School, University of Sto. Tomas, Adamson University, Letran, Mapua, Lyceum, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Sta. Rosa College, among others.

Similarly, tarpaulins of Fr. Willmann were distributed to pedicab drivers, kalesa drivers and owners of stores inside Intramuros area to help in the promotion.

Various organizations and volunteer groups like YouthPinoy, Catholic Youth Organization in the Philippines, Daughters of Mary Immaculate and Youth Militia Immaculata have also expressed their support for the Cause of Fr. Willmann.

Thirty five (35) Parishes/Churches likewise welcomed the promotions on the Cause of Fr. Willmann (from the target of 20 Parishes only). These are San Agustin Church, Manila Cathedral, Quiapo Church, San Roque De Manila Parish, Sta. Monica Parish, among others.

The NEC took place in some major activities of Catholic Church like Yolanda Commemorative Run and Marian Conferences as well.

Ultimately, the Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Memorial Building, which is located within the compound of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) in Intramuros, Manila became the official General Headquarters of the Media & Information Committee for the 2015 Pope’s Visit. The NEC is optimistic that this opportunity will boost the promotional campaign for the Cause of Fr. Willmann. (KC News)

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Thank you!

Museum VIsit

Clockwise from top: 1. Photo of 2015 Officers of HOLUAP (Home Office Life Underwriters Association of the Philippines) headed by its President and KCFAPI Underwriting Manager, Ms. Carmelita S. Ruiz (seated, 6th from left) during their courtesy call with KCFAPI EVP, Ma. Theresa G. Curia (standing). Prior to the courtesy call, the group composed of Ms. Florence C. Luzande of Philamlife, Ms. Lea Buenaobra of AXA Life Philippines, Mr. Dennis Baluyut of Manulife, Ms. Maria Louisa Penuliar of Insular Life and Mr. Alvin Gregorio of CISP visited the Fr. George J. Willlmann Museum with KC Foundations Executive Director, Mr Roberto T Cruz as their tour guide. 2. Brother Knights from San Mateo Council and 3. Photo of Brother Knights from Nueva Ecija with KC Foundations Executive Director Roberto T. Cruz during their respective visits to the Fr. Willmann Museum. 4. Photo of Father Jesuit Provincial Fr. Antonio Moreno and Fr. Catalino Arevalo together with Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, KCFAPI VP Gari San Sebastian and KC Foundations Executive Director Roberto T. Cruz with their family members during KCFAPI’s lunch treat at the El Mitre following their visit to the Fr. Willmann Museum.

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“Rising Above Yolanda”

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The National Executive Committee for the Cause of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ joins the Yolanda Commemorative Run held last November 15, 2014 at the Quirino Grand Stand. Dubbed “Rising Above Yolanda: Celebrating the Resilient Filipino Spirit”, the activity themed “We stood the storm … We rebuild lives strong”, was one of the activities organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice, and Peace, along with Caritas Philippines in honor of the thousands who died and the thousands more who survived the super typhoon Yolanda.

Meanwhile, a Eucharistic celebration was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) in line with the commemoration of the Typhoon Yolanda tragedy. The mass, which was held in Quezon City Memorial Circle last November 8, 2014 was led by Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III, CBCP Media Director and KCFAPI Spiritual Director. Theme for the event was “Celebrating Life: Commemorating the Event that has shifted the Landscape of our Lives.” Activities included a requiem prayer and candle lighting ceremony offered for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. (SocialActionNews)

Opening of the Media & Information Gen. Headquarters

Fr. Willmann Memorial Building opens as Papal Visit media HQ

The Knights of Columbus in the Philippines together with its insurance arm, the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) welcome the Papal Visit Media and Information Committee last November 24, 2014 during the Rite of Blessing and Inauguration Ceremonies of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Memorial Building as the Media and Information General Headquarters for the Papal Visit 2015.

KCFAPI Officers headed by President Arsenio Isidro G. Yap (seated, 2nd from left) and Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia (seated, rightmost) together with CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas and CBCP Media and Information Committee Head and KCFAPI Spiritual Director, Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio, III during the Rite of Blessing and Inauguration Ceremonies of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Memorial Building as the Media and Information General Headquarters for the Papal Visit 2015.

The opening of the Media & Information General Headquarters was led by Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President and Lingayen-Dagupan, Archbishop Socrates Villegas and Media & Information Committee head and KCFAPI Spiritual Director, Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III.

KCFAPI employees who were in attendance were led by their Chairman Alonso L. Tan, President Arsenio Isidro G. Yap and Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia.

“On behalf of KCFAPI and Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, I would like to thank you, your Excellency, the Most Rev. Socrates Villegas for giving us the opportunity to be of service to the forthcoming visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines,” said Yap, KCFAPI President.

He added that the Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Memorial Building, which will serve as the Media and Information General Headquarters for the Papal Visit 2015 would satisfy the needs and meet expectations of the media practitioners.

“We assure you that the media and information committee headed by Msgr. Quitorio and Ms. Peachy Yamsuan of the Archdiocese of Manila is most welcome here and we further assure you that we’ll make their stay here as comfortable as possible,” Yap added.

He furthered that they will try to accommodate other things that may still be needed to make the place an effective tool for the local and foreign media to carry out their duties in line with Pope Francis’ visit on January 15-19, 2015.

“We are also opening the attic (4th floor) for additional space to work on, rest or even use our gym if they desire,” Yap cited.

The event was graced by different local and foreign media groups.

The Media and Information General Headquarters for the Papal Visit is located at the 3rd Floor, Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Memorial Building, KCFAPI Compound, General Luna cor Sta. Potenciana Sts., Intramuros, Manila with office hours from 10:00am – 5:00pm weekdays. (KC News)

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NEC recognizes supporters

The National Executive Committee (NEC) for the Cause of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ acknowledges the people, organizations and associations, who support the various promotional activities for the Cause of the Father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ.

Members of the ‘Apostolado ng Panalangin’ of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish support the Cause of Fr. George J. Willmann SJ. (Photo by Rachel Pablo)

 

The National Executive Committee (NEC) for the Cause of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ acknowledges the people, organizations and associations, who support the various promotional activities for the Cause of the Father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ.

The massive campaign on the Cause of Fr. Willmann within Metro Manila area started last June 2014 and would run until December 2014.

The campaign aims to cover the following six major areas to help in the effective awareness and promotion of the life and works of Fr. Willmann: Media, Knights of Columbus Proper, Schools, General Public, Organizations and Parishes.

Various publications about Fr. Willmann and his heroic virtues have already been released both locally and internationally through the following media groups: GMA Network, ucanews, mabuhay.catholic.org, asianews and Philippines’ cbcpnews.com, among others.

The NEC also conducted several awareness campaigns in more than 20 events within the Order of the Knights of Columbus from June to December 2014.

More than 20 schools have likewise been visited (from the target of 10 schools only) including Emilio Aguinaldo College, Manila Times College, College of the Holy Spirit, Paco Catholic School, University of Sto. Tomas, Adamson University, Letran, Mapua, Lyceum, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Sta. Rosa College, among others.

Similarly, tarpaulins of Fr. Willmann were distributed to pedicab drivers, kalesa drivers and owners of stores inside Intramuros area to help in the promotion.

Various organizations and volunteer groups like YouthPinoy, Catholic Youth Organization in the Philippines, Daughters of Mary Immaculate and Youth Militia Immaculata have also expressed their support for the Cause of Fr. Willmann.

Thirty five (35) Parishes/Churches likewise welcomed the promotions on the Cause of Fr. Willmann (from the target of 20 Parishes only). These are San Agustin Church, Manila Cathedral, Quiapo Church, San Roque De Manila Parish, Sta. Monica Parish, among others.

The NEC took place in some major activities of Catholic Church like Yolanda Commemorative Run and Marian Conferences as well.

Ultimately, the Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Memorial Building, which is located within the compound of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) in Intramuros, Manila is now the official General Headquarters of the Media & Information Committee for the Pope’s Visit. The NEC is optimistic that this opportunity will boost the promotional campaign for the Cause of Fr. Willmann. (KC News)