THE NEW apostolic nuncio to the Philippines called on the faithful to be like St. Joseph and accept their roles in God’s plan during his first public Mass in the Philippines at the St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Manila on Dec. 18.

“Each of us has a role to play in God’s plan… God’s mysterious plans can work through us. We need to have courage and trust,” Archbishop Charles John Brown said during the third day of nine-day Misa de Gallo.

Brown urged Catholics to emulate the obedience of St. Joseph in accepting the responsibility of raising the infant Jesus.

“We have to be like Joseph who listens and obeys God. [W]hen we do that, God plans works through us,” the country’s 18th papal envoy said.

Pope Francis has declared Dec. 8, 2020 to Dec. 8, 2021 as the Year of St. Joseph. The feast of St. Joseph is celebrated every Dec. 19.

Pope Francis appointed Brown, a native of New York and former envoy to Ireland and Albania, as his representative to the Philippines on Sept. 28. He arrived in the Philippines on Nov. 29.

He was welcomed virtually by President Rodrigo Duterte on Dec. 17.

Duterte said he looked forward to working with Brown on advocacies on the protection of migrants and climate action.

“For the Philippines, these issues are a matter of uplifting human dignity and securing the lives of the most disadvantaged… The Holy See’s call for all countries to “protect the dignity of human life”, including of migrants’ regardless of status is much appreciated,” Duterte said.

Brown said he looked forward to “strengthening and deepening the high level of cooperation… through mutual commitment to the common good and to the promotion of the spiritual and moral values.” Ma. Dyanne Mirasol P. Reyes


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