Filipinos’ Lenten recollection in Rome cancelled due to COVID-19

Published March 9, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Leslie Ann G. Aquino

The Lenten recollection with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle for the Filipino communities in Rome organized by the Pontificio Collegio Filippino has been cancelled

Father Greg Gaston, rector of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino, said the March 15 gathering has been postponed “indefinitely”amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Italy.

“Please accept our sincerest regrets for any inconvenience this might have caused, and our gratitude for your interest in the recollection and your prayers,” he said in a CBCP News post.

Gaston said the decision was made in deference to the Italian government that urged the cancellation of mass gatherings to help stem the spread of the disease.

At present, he said they are also monitoring instructions from the different dioceses in Italy, especially where they celebrate Masses for Filipino migrants.

The Vatican on Friday confirmed its first coronavirus case and temporarily closed some offices as a precaution.

Classes in all levels have also been suspended in Italy where over 230 have died from the virus, while more than 5,000 cases have been reported.

The government has also locked down much of its northern areas, placing 16 million of people under forced quarantine.

Pope Francis earlier expressed his closeness to those affected by the disease and to those working to care for the sick and contain the spread of the virus