Archbishop Charles Brown, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, spent Christmas in Siargao with survivors of typhoon Odette (Rai).
Archbishop Brown arrived in Del Carmen town on Saturday morning and was welcomed by Bishop Antonieto Cabajog of Surigao.
From the airport, the nuncio proceeded to celebrate Mass in Siargao’s 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 December 16.
He spent the night in Dapa town where he again celebrated Mass in the parish’s Sto. Niño Church on Sunday morning before leaving the island for Surigao City via ferry.
In his Christmas message, Archbishop Brown expressed solidarity with those affected by the typhoon as the fatality count reached at least 367 as of December 26 while at least 62 people were still missing.
Reflecting on the story of Christmas, the nuncio asked the faithful “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,” he said.
In Surigao, the archbishop led a Mass at the San Nicolas de Tolentino Cathedral. On Monday, he is expected to visit the parishes on Dinagat Island.
Archbishop Brown is scheduled to return to Manila from Siargao on December 28.