To the Editor:
I saw God’s creative hand and inspiring Spirit at work during Pope Francis’ recent visit to my homeland, the Philippines. In Tacloban (one of the areas that was hit by the super typhoon in 2013), the pope celebrated an outdoor Mass in which he wore a yellow poncho on top of his vestments because there was a storm right at the time he was there. What a powerful witness of sympathy with the victims!
At the concluding Mass in Manila, I found it striking that the First Reading, from Isaiah, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light,” was proclaimed by a blind woman. At the end of that Mass, Manila’s archbishop, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, assured Pope Francis that Jesus himself prays for the pope (Peter), referencing Luke 22:32, in response to the pope’s request for prayers.
Seeing and hearing Pope Francis try his best to speak English reinforced my desire to minister to all regardless of what language they speak — after all, as the theme song of this visit went, “We are all God’s children.” Our church is so blessed to have Pope Francis! I hope many will come to see him when he visits the United States later this year.
Fr. Joseph Sia
Pastor of St. Joseph, Columbus Junction and sacramental minister at St. Joseph Parish, West Liberty