His first stop was at the Mary, Mother of Good Counsel Parish in Parañaque
by Margaux Salcedo
Archbishop Charles John Brown, the new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, has arrived in Manila.
Archbishop Charles John Brown (center, with sampaguita) is welcomed by the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines and the CBCP. L-R: Msgr Gabriel Viola and Msgr Julien Kabore of the Apostolic Nunciature; Communications Secretary Martin Andanar representing Malacanang; Archbishop Charles Brown; Bishop Pablo "Ambo" David, representing CBCP; and Bishop Jesse Mercado of the Diocese of Parañaque.
The new Nuncio arrived at around 8:00 a.m. and was officially welcomed to the Philippines at the airport by the Office of the President, represented by Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Office and by officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
He was also greeted by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), represented by Kalookan Bishop Pablo 'Ambo' David and Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado.
Our Lady of Good Counsel
From the airport, Archbishop Brown quietly made a personal pilgrimage to the Mary, Mother of Good Counsel Parish in Parañaque. He was escorted and welcomed to the parish by Bishop Jesse Mercado of the Diocese of Parañaque and parish priest Msgr. Melchor David.
Msgr. Melchor David, parish priest of Mary, Mother of Good Counsel Parish welcomed the new Nuncio. Archbishop Brown gamely gave a few words and a blessing, his first in the Philippines as Papal Nuncio.
In his message, Archbishop Brown explained why he chose this parish as his first stop, straight from the airport where he had just arrived 30 minutes prior to the visit to the parish.
He explained that it was a personal devotion as he had just been Nuncio to Albania, where the original image of Our Lady of Good Counsel was from before being moved to Italy.
He also shared Mary's 'good counsel':
"She is the Lady of Good Advice. What is the good advice that Our Lady gives? Think about the Wedding Feast at Cana where Jesus multiplies, changes the water into wine. Mary says, 'Do whatever he tells you.'"
That's her good advice to all of us. Mary is always pointing us to Jesus and the Blessed Sacrament, telling us to do whatever he tells you. That's the buon Consiglio, the Good Advice, the Good Counsel that our Lady is always giving us. She gives us Jesus."
His Excellency Archbishop Charles John Brown was appointed Titular Archbishop of Aquileia and Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland in 2011 before becoming Apostolic Nuncio to Albania in 2017.
He was appointed Apostolic Nunio to the Philippines last September 28, 2020.
Before entering the diplomatic service of the Holy See, His Excellency Most Rev. Brown worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
He succeeds H.E. Gabriele Giordano Caccia who was Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines from September 2017 to November 2019.
Let us offer a prayer of thanksgiving as we welcome our new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines!
Photo and video credits:
Apostolic Nunciature, Raf Dolor, Msgr. Melchor David, Mary Mother of Good Counsel Parish