Monday, 21 December 2020 15:12

New Nuncio to the Philippines Celebrates first Public Mass

“We have to be like Joseph, listening, and obedient to God. And when we do that, God’s plan works through us.”

This was the message conveyed to the faithful by Archbishop Charles John Brown, newly appointed Papal Nuncio to the Philippines in his first public mass held at the Saint Anthony of Padua Parish in Singalong, Manila last December 18, 2020. He presided over the Misa de Gallo in the parish.

Archbishop Charles John Brown, newly appointed Nuncio to the Philippines | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

homily, the 61-year-old prelate reflected on the virtues of Saint Joseph, the husband of Mary and the father of Jesus. He emphasized the important role of St. Joseph in the plan of God, although there was initial hesitance to follow God's will.

“And that is when the angel then came to tell him, don’t be afraid. You do have a role. You will give him the name of Jesus. He will save his people from their sins,” the Nuncio recounted.

“So, the angel told him, 'Don’t step away. Don’t let her simply raise her child with her parents. Be a father to this child. Give him the name of Jesus...' And Joseph said, yes. Joseph said, yes and became part of God’s plan.”

Archbishop Brown also stressed that all of us, whatever vocation we undertake has a role in the plan of God. Like Saint Joseph, he encouraged the faithful to imitate the saint's virtues.

“My brothers and sisters, on this preparation day for Christmas, on this third day of Simbang Gabi, let us ask Joseph to intercede for us during this year dedicated to him, that we would be open to God’s plan in our life. And we will do God’s will and then my brothers and sisters, we will see miracles before us,” the Archbishop said. 

Recently the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has declared December 8, 2020, to December 8, 2021, as the "Year of St. Joseph", because of the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as the Patron of Universal Church as declared by Pope Pius IX.

On Sept. 28, 2020, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Brown to be the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines. He succeeded Archbishop Gabriel Caccia who is now the head of the Vatican’s Permanent Observer Mission in the United States in New York. He arrived in the country on Nov. 29 and has already presented his letter of credence to President Rodrigo Duterte last December 14. (Fatima Llanza and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 


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