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The Archdiocese of Cebu Heeds Gov. Garcia’s Call to Suspend Masses

Archdiocese of Cebu

By: Elena Grace Flores

YouTube video by Elena Grace Flores
Will Church Leaders Follow the Pope’s Example and Comply with the Governor’s Call?

The Governor’s Call to Church Leaders

Cebu City Governor Gwen Garcia calls on the church leaders to apply precautionary measures to fight against the spread of coronavirus. This coincides with the WHO’s projection that if Filipinos continue to behave like as if the coronavirus pandemic will not affect them, the contamination cases will reach 75,000 in the Philippines alone. As a predominantly Catholic province, it is hard to imagine that Cebu would immediately suspend the holy mass celebrations especially on Sundays but the Archdiocese of Cebu led by Archbishop Jose Palma complies with the government’s plea to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.

The 3 Highlights of Archbishop Palma’s Press Conference

1. Even if there are cancellation of PUBLIC LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS, the priests will still CONTINUE TO CELEBRATE MASSES WITHOUT THE PEOPLE (Missa Sine Populo). AND THE MASSES ARE ENCOURAGED TO BE AIRED ON SOCIAL MEDIA. It does not mean, “no more masses.” And this is very important that we need to know. Please share this because people might just simply say: “masses are canceled.”
3. THE DECISION OF THE ARCHBISHOP COMES FROM THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF HEALTH EXPERTS AND THE GOVERNMENT. THEY HAVE GIVEN VERY STRONG GROUNDS. Understanding Dr. Bryan Albert Lim (from Microbiology and Infectious Diseases), he said that the best way to contain the virus – for now – is through social distancing and proper hygiene.

Quik to Respond Parishes

The Our Lady of Lourdes Parish is quick enough to announce their guidelines for the religious activities following the governor’s request on social media. Then updates follow based on the pronouncements of Archbishop Palma. The Basilica del Sto. Nino church also made its directives known to their parishioners online.

Here are the guidelines of the Lourdes Parish:
1. All Holy Masses (even on Sunday) will be suspended until further notice. Masses will still continue through online. This will be our schedule for Daily online Masses.. 6:30 am. 12n. 6 pm
Sunday online schedule:
6:30 am, Fr. Dan. 8 am, Fr. Joriz.
10:30 am, Fr. Randy. 3 pm, Fr. Keith.
6 pm, Fr. Arvin
We shall be posting all our Daily & Sunday Online Masses at our New Official FB page: Lourdes Shine Cebu. Please invite yourselves to this page.
2. Funeral Masses may be celebrated but limited only to the immediate family.
3. We encourage Baptism & Marriage to be deferred, but if not it will be administered with a limited number of persons.
4. All Religious Gatherings will be canceled like Fiesta, Processions, Recollection, Meetings or Formation to comply with Social Distancing policies.
5. Holy Week Services might proceed without the congregation. But we will use digital technology so as not to deprive the parishioners of these services.
6. Our Church will remain open for prayers. But the Adoration Chapel will be temporarily closed.
7. Our Church Bells will ring at 12n & 8 pm to signal prayers for the frontline health workers and for this virus to cease.
8. All Church facilities will be temporarily closed until further notice.

Fr. Jose Bosch Innovative Skills Training Advocacy Cooperative (ISTAC)

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