By Christina Hermoso
Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos has called on priests under his jurisdiction to offer holy masses for the health and safety of all the front liners who are attending to the needs of individuals suspected and infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Let us implore our Lord, through the guiding intercession of our patron, Saint Joseph, to protect the front liners and keep them away from any harm,” Santos said in a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines News post.
“May they stay strong, healthy, and safe. May the Lord reward their services and sacrifices a hundredfold,” he said as he called for more prayers for the transmission of the viral disease to stop.
The Department of Health, on March 18, confirmed 202 COVID-19 cases in the country, with 17 deaths. Seven individuals have also recovered.
Bishop Santos, like other Church leaders around the country, has suspended indefinitely the holding of public masses in churches as a preventive measure against the viral disease. Church services such as baptisms, confirmations, and confessions have also been suspended.
“Other celebrations during Lent and the Holy Week such as Palm Sunday, Visita Iglesia, Good Friday processions, the Easter vigil, and Eastern Sunday masses will not be open to the public,” Santos said.
The bishop urged the faithful to continue to pray and hear holy masses through radio, television, or online.