Sunday, April 03, 2005

Pope John Paul II and ICT

"This world is not capable of making man happy."
- Pope John Paul II, 1920-2005

Much has been, and will continue to be, written about the great sanctity and holiness of Pope John Paul II's life and papacy. I'm quite sure that none of those writings will answer the question, "Did the Holy Father ever use a computer?"

The answer is yes! My sister, Anali Mapa-Drilon was right beside him when he used a Macintosh. The year was 1996. The place was the Vatican. The event was the unveiling of the first-ever CD* on the papacy of Pope John Paul II. Below, in her own words, is my sister's description of how it happened. Her memories were triggered when she saw, on CNN, the Pope's private chapel in the Vatican.

"We walked through that chapel to get to his study. Together with Cardinal Sin and Fr. Aris, we walked through what seemed like miles of corridors, layers of guards, dozens of closed doors. When we got to the study, I kissed his hand, then presented to him the picture where he was kissing Cheri (our youngest sister).

We then walked over to the Macintosh, accompanied by many other cardinals and priests. This was the first-ever CD on his papacy, so it was a big thing at the Vatican. He had such huge hands, almost as big as a baseball glove. I remember that my hands were like an infant's beside his.

It was over all too soon. Before we left, he gave us his blessing, and he told us to "Keep doing good things". I remember right after we left the study, I cried and cried, I was so touched by what had happened." See this story on MSNBC!

*NOTE: The CD was entitled "Mabuhay ang Papa". It was a multimedia compilation of the Holy Father's 1995 commemoration of the World Youth Day in Manila. It was the first commercial CD produced in the Philippines, and was created using Macromind Director.

Pahabol: The photos below were taken in May, 1980 at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. My mother and father had saved enough to take our family on a world tour, including a 2-week stay in Italy to attend the Genfest of the Focolare Movement. While in Rome, we attended the Holy Father's birthday celebration. We were blessed to find ourselves right beside the path which the Popemobile would take. When he stopped in front of us, his escorts first lifted my sister Anali, then my sister Mitzi up to him for a blessing. Finally they lifted up my sister Cheri.

To the cheers of the crowd, the Holy Father took Cheri into his arms, kissed her on both cheeks, and whispered something into her ear. Upon returning to the hotel, we asked Cheri, who was all of 2 years old at the time, what the Pontiff had told her. "Be a good girl", she echoed. My sister must have taken the advice to heart; she is pursuing a religious vocation, and is close to completing her studies at the Focolare formation center in Fribourg, Switzerland.


At Mon Apr 04, 10:55:00 AM, Blogger jgotangco said...

Awww those pictures are priceless...John Paul II will surely be missed but I know he'll be with us all in spirit...

At Tue Apr 05, 11:12:00 AM, Blogger bizdriven said...

we can only hope the next pope will not only be from the third world, but will be as good as he is.

At Thu Apr 07, 01:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice pictures! And great story about meeting the Pope! I'd like to see the photo of him using the Macintosh!

At Thu Apr 07, 08:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am always amazed with how you put words and pictures together to come up with nice to read blogs as this... Keep it up Commissioner Mapa!

At Sat Apr 09, 07:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, the story - how touching.

Anyways, some extremists and fundamentalists do not want to embrace emerging technologies because they said it will lead them away from faith (now wonder why super religious countries do not progress that much). Well Pope John Paul II used a Mac

At Mon Apr 11, 04:37:00 PM, Anonymous MAe Legaspi said...

What an interesting detail about your family, the Pope and IT! You have a knack of interconnecting the different loves of your life into one cohesive story!

How I wish a photo has been taken of Anali's hand beside the Pope's. (Btw, she is also a great story teller!) And it will be nice to see photos of your other sisters as well.

Thank you, Dondi, for sharing this personal encounter with the Holy Father and the computer.

At Mon Apr 11, 07:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never expect such "sensitivity" especially from an IT guy like you...

It's the first time for me to see a gov't official who actually maintains a blog. I think it's a fine way of representing yourself. The readers get to know you better.

I've linked with you, hope you don't mind...

I also know that you're busy and stuff... but if you know some companies looking for a CS intern... please do tell me... thanks!


At Wed Apr 13, 08:15:00 PM, Blogger inlightsyrup said...

hi! are you in any way related to mardi mapa-suplido? =)

At Thu Apr 21, 03:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi der =) cheri was my classmate in Antipolo. in fact, we were seatmates. i was wondering how i culd reach her, even by e-mail, just to say hi. after our vacation, i transfered school..
here's my email:
thanks in advance :Þ

At Thu May 05, 05:51:00 PM, Anonymous will said...

Good day, sir.

I honestly don't know how to get in touch with you so I'm writing this message in this feedback forum. Please forgive me.

I'm with the iBlog team of UP Law-ISP.

Regarding the forthcoming blogging summit this Saturday (May 7, 2005), we will set up an LCD projector plus internet connection for the speakers.

For your information, sir. Thank you very much.


At Wed May 11, 06:46:00 PM, Blogger dyezebel said...

hi dondi. don't know if you remember me. i'm the youngest daughter of d. and m. balajadia.

a friend's blog mentioned you and i had to visit to make sure it was really you.

i remember your mom telling the story and even showing us the picture of cheri. i actually told a friend that the Pope must have had a really big impact on cheri for her to pursue the path of the Focolare. (i remember hearing about it last year from my mom)

nice stumbling upon your blog.

anyway, regards to the rest of the family. :)

tina balajadia

At Sun May 29, 10:52:00 AM, Blogger endlessly hypnopompic said...

Hi, Dondi. Now I know why it's been dificult for you to continue blogging-- it's been over a month. This story is simply too difficult to top!

Anyway, I hope you'll blog again. I'm almost sure you-know-who won't be able to do the you-know-what that you said you were dreading.

As for me, I've just ended my hiatus. Or so I hope. :)

At Wed Sep 21, 04:47:00 PM, Blogger jennifertan said...

I actually cried wen i saw your story about the pope and your sister. i will pray for your sister! :)


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