FAR Eastern University men's volleyball coach Kid Santos is looking forward to a once-in-a-lifetime experience this Sunday when Pope Francis holds a mass at the Quirino Grandstand.
A lay minister for 20 years now at the Santisimo Trinidad Parish in Manila, the veteran volleyball mentor has been among the few chosen to serve during the Holy Eucharist of the Sunday mass that is expected to lure six million people to the Luneta grounds.
Santos, who will be stationed at booth No. 20 near Manila Hotel, hopes to get near the Pope, or at least get a close glimpse of the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
“Sana makalapit ako o kahit makadaan siya malapit doon sa booth kung saan ako magpapa-communion,” said Santos.
Asked what will be his special petition during the Papal visit, the 65-year old coach said he could not ask for more.
“Hay naku, puro pagpapasalamat lang,” said the former national coach. “Siguro kung meron pa (ako mahihiling) good health para makapaglingkod pa ako, hangga’t malakas ako, hangga’t kaya ko pa ibabalik ko sa Panginoon ang lahat ng biyaya niya.”
Santos said he would also express thanks for the success he had handling the FEU Lady Tamaraws, who he steered to 19 of the team’s 29 championships in the UAAP.
Pope Francis is arriving in the country on Thursday afternoon in his first visit in the Philippines since succeeding the late Pope John Paul II.
The following day, he will have an audience with President Aquino at Malacanang, celebrate a Holy Mass at the Manila Cathedral, and meet the chosen families at the Mall of Asia Arena.
On Saturday, Pope Francis flies to Tacloban to personally visit the province badly hit by super-typhoon Yolanda.
The Pope returns to Manila on Sunday when he holds meeting with the youth at the University of Santo Tomas before proceeding to Quirino Grandstand in the afternoon to celebrate the Holy Mass.
He leaves for Vatican on Monday morning.