Papal Nuncio Spends Christmas in Typhoon-Ravaged Siargao

Archbishop Charles Brown Ministers to Survivors of Typhoon Odette

Christmas Siargao
Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, is greeted by churchgoers after celebrating Mass at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Church in Siargao Island’s Del Carmen town on Christmas Day. PHOTO COURTESY OF CARL MARC GESTA

Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, spent his Christmas in Siargao Island with the survivors of Typhoon Odette, reported CBCP News.

Archbishop Brown arrived at the island’s airport in Del Carmen town on Saturday morning where he was welcomed by a group led by Bishop Antonieto Cabajog of Surigao.

From the airport, he proceeded to celebrate Mass at the town’s Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Church, which sustained damage from the typhoon.

After the liturgical service, the papal nuncio visited the nine towns of the island, where Odette made its first landfall on Dec. 16.

He spent the night in Dapa town, where he again celebrated Mass at the parish’s Sto. Niño Church on Sunday morning before leaving the island for Surigao City via ferry.

Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, celebrates Christmas Day Mass with typhoon Odette survivors at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Church in Siargao Island’s Del Carmen town on Dec. 25, 2021. PHOTO COURTESY OF CARL MARC GESTA

In his Christmas message released earlier, he expressed solidarity with those affected by the typhoon as the fatality count reached 367 as of Dec. 26 and at least 62 people are still missing.

Reflecting on the story of Christmas, he asked Catholics “not to miss the opportunity to welcome and to show hospitality to those who need it most”.

“Let us do everything in our power to offer them hospitality in various ways by assisting them,” Archbishop Brown said.

In Surigao, the archbishop also led a Mass at the San Nicolas de Tolentino Cathedral and is scheduled to visit several parishes throughout the day.

On Monday, he was expected to visit the parishes on Dinagat Island. Archbishop Brown is scheduled to return to Manila from Siargao airport on Dec. 28.

The Catholic Church in the Philippines set December  25- 26 as national days of prayer for families affected by Odette.