In Southern California, Filipino communities are mourning the death of Cardinal Jaime Sin, and recollecting on his leadership.
Cardinal Sin died on Tuesday morning due to kidney failure at age 76.
He believed that we needed to “put Christ in politics,” and therefore inspired millions of Filipinos to stand up against Ferdinand Marcos, ostracizing him in 1986. In a similar situation, in 2001, Cardinal Sin helped successfully force President Joseph Estrada out of office on allegations of corruption.
In downtown Los Angeles, during a noon mass on Tuesday, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, an announcement was sent through the congregation that Cardinal Sin was dead, shocking and changing the atmosphere to one of sorrow.
A volunteer at the cathedral, Ricky Songalia, lamented on Cardinal Sin, and stated, “He really stood to protect the democracy, to fight dictators. He stood for the people.” Songalia participated in the Los Angeles demonstrations against Marcos in 1986, and with much sentiment replied, “If it weren’t for the church, this movement would not have succeeded.”
Cardinal Sin had strong relationships with the Southern California Filipino community.
Among many of Cardinal Sin’s siblings, his sister, Ceferina Sin Vita, will fly out to the Philippines to attend her brother’s funeral scheduled for Tuesday in Manila Cathedral. Humbled by her brother’s importance to the people he led, she stated, “I’m proud of him in a way that he did God’s will, that he tried to do his best to serve God and his people.”
Cardinal Sin’s father wanted him to become a businessman, but the Cardinal wanted to become a priest, Vita recalls.