By Leslie Aquino
The former street kids of the Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation still remember Pope Francis who visited them when he came to the country in January 2015.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle recalled his conversation with the TNK children during his Easter Recollection in Quezon City, Sunday.
He said he was having snacks Saturday with the children when a 15-year old girl suddenly asked him: Where is Pope Francis? How come he is not with you?
Tagle said his reply was: He is in Rome.
“She said Rome…maybe she didn’t know where Rome is. She then told the other three girls present that I was with the Pope when they visited them,” he said.
His Eminence then asked the other three girls if they were there already when the Pope visited TNK and they said they weren’t there yet as they are still new.
Tagle said an eight-year old girl chimed in and said that she was there during the visit.
He said the little girl also asked him about the Pope: How is he?
“I promised her that when I see the Pope I’ll tell them that you think of him,” said Tagle.
To recall, the former street children of Metro Manila launched a campaign through the help of Cardinal Tagle to win an audience with Pope Francis before his visit to the country.
The cardinal even personally delivered the letters of the TNK children to the Holy Father.
Their wish was granted when the Pontiff spent a few minutes with the TNK kids after celebrating Mass for the bishops, priests and nuns at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, although it was not in his official itinerary.
Pictures of the Pontiff with the kids were posted in social media showing a smiling pope hugging a child while Cardinal Tagle looks on. The Pope was also shown sitting with the TNK kids.
TNK is a non-government organization whose mission is to save Metro Manila’s street children from begging, drugs and prostitution.