- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Louisville Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Kurtz recently returned from the Philippines where he observed recovery efforts from a November typhoon.

Kurtz, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, surveyed the damage with other church leaders in Tacloban City.

Kurtz says he saw devastating damage but also noticed children playing basketball. He wrote in his blog that “it was humbling to feel the gratitude of the Filipino people and to see the warmth and emotion in their faces as they greeted us.”

Kurtz said he celebrated mass in a cathedral that had its roof blown off by the storm. He says eight churches in the local diocese were destroyed.

A delegation representing the bishops group and Catholic Relief Services visited the area Feb. 4 through Thursday.