Around the globe, anxiety, worry and fear become a palpable reality as we see the increasing number of deaths, hungry people, joblessness, in everyday news as a result of Covid19 pandemic. As a parish priest, it is my primary duty to assure the flock that the Good Shepherd is with us. He never abandoned us! In my homilies (via livestreaming), I always share to my parishioners the abiding presence of God that is made visible whenever the breaking of the bread is done not only at the altar table, but also at the altar of life – through your sharing of whatever can help protect and sustain life.
Through the help of the parish, convent and benefactors, we have distributed relief goods to the needy through the help of our Basic Ecclesial Community Leaders. We provided hundreds of face-masks, sown by a group of BEC members, to front-liners and poor families for free. We initiated a little livelihood project for several families. Upon the encouragement of our local ordinary and request of the BEC leaders, I am administering General Absolution (Confession) for several days now to already hundreds of faithful, observing social distancing, wearing of face-mask, proper hygiene, in compliance with the DOH, LGU and government guidelines. General Absolution is also the Church effort to bring the mercy and love of God for people’s spiritual nourishment.
We continue to accompany the dying in their respective houses or in a hospital through the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. We comfort the bereaved as we celebrate funeral mass for their dead whenever the situation permits in this time of pandemic. Since our parishioners cannot go to church, we, instead, bring Jesus to them through the Blessed Sacrament on a pick-up vehicle, the Word of God via live streaming, the love of God through whatever material help we can share.
Fr. Allan V. Lopez,OP