by Joel V. Ocampo
In the first week of June 2023, H.E. Most Rev. Charles John Brown D.D., the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines visited the Prelature of Batanes.
Visit at San Carlos Borromeo Parish
On June 7, 2023, Archbishop Brown, accompanied by H.E. Most Rev. Danilo B. Ulep, D.D., Bishop of the Prelate of Batanes, and clergy from Batanes, visited the San Carlos Borromeo Parish in Mahatao, Batanes. There, he was given a warm welcome by some of the parishioners, the Parish Pastoral Council, Rev. Fr. Danilo T. Cruz, and the priests of Mahatao.
Arrival of Abp. Brown in Mahatao, Batanes (left); Bishop Ulep participating in the native dance (right).
As Archbishop Brown entered the church patio, the children lined up, waving their yellow and white (colors of the flag of Vatican City) flaglets, while some performed a native dance, accompanied by singing and playing of stringed instruments. Bishop Ulep himself participated in the native dance. Then, Archbishop Brown entered the church where he offered a prayer and blessed the people with holy water. After this, the apostolic nuncio had a meal with the parish officials. During this meal, Archbishop Brown experienced drinking buko (coconut) juice straight from the coconut fruit/drupe.
Before leaving the parish, Archbishop Brown left this message, “On my first visit to Batanes, I want to say a very sincere ‘thank you’ to everyone who made my trip to this beautiful island possible. May God bless everyone in this parish!” He also wrote this blessing, “May God bless all the people of San Carlos Borromeo Parish!”
Other Visits in Batanes
On the same day, Archbishop Brown, also visited San Antonino De Florencia Parish in Uyugan, Batanes. In this visit, he was welcomed once again by the children, the child-like, and the Parish Administrator: Rev. Fr. Algerico Andrew Gonzalez. The smile on the faces of the children is very precious, the joyful smile of a person that sees the representative of Christ on earth. This is indeed a Filipino experience of the Lord Jesus’ words, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it” (Mk. 10:14-15).
The following day, June 8, 2023, at about 10:00 in the morning, Archbishop Brown, accompanied by Bishop Danny Ulep, together with the clergy of prelature of Batanes, visited the Sabtang Islands where they were welcomed by Rev. Fr. Joel B. Padua of San Vicente Ferrer Parish, Sabtang, and the people of Sabtang. The natives of Sabtang Islands also performed native dance and songs, and introduced the local culture to the apostolic nuncio. Archbishop Brown also imparted God’s blessing to the people.
Prelature of Batanes
The Prelature of Batanes is a Suffragan of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tuguegarao in Cagayan. It was established on November 30, 1950 with Batanes and Babuyan Islands as its territorial province. In February 6, 2002, the Prelature was reduced to comprise only the Province of Batanes, under the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Tuguegarao. The Prelature’s Principal Patroness is the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.
His Excellency Most Rev. Danilo B. Ulep, D.D., the current Bishop of the Prelate of Batanes was born on June 24, 1962 in Tuguegarao, Cagayan. He was ordained as priest on April 10,1987; appointed as Bishop-Prelate of Batanes on May 20, 2017; consecrated as Bishop on July 29, 2017; and installed as the fifth Bishop-Prelate of Batanes on August 8, 2017.
Rev. Fr. Danilo T. Cruz and SocCom Team