By Leslie Ann G. Aquino
Parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila will be needing more young volunteers when religious services resume.
Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the church needs younger volunteers as most of their volunteers are from the elderly who are at high risk from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“Many of our hardworking volunteers are already old, and are prohibited from going out of their homes,” he said in his online Mass Sunday, May 10.
“Now, we are adjusting many things to make our churches safe when we will be allowed to make our religious services. We will be looking for younger people to volunteer in the church,” added Pabillo.
In a pastoral guidance that the prelate issued last week, he said there is a need to recruit younger people as volunteers to help in the ministries, like collectors, lay ministers, and ushers to lessen possibilities of infections among the elderly.
“If the elderly volunteers insist to serve, they may be allowed by proper warning and precautions. Their time of service, however, should be shortened to limit the possibility of exposure to any infection,” read the pastoral guidance.
Pabillo said having more volunteers will also give priests time to pray and prepare their homilies.
“It only happened to me once that when I visited a parish and looked for the priest, I was told he was in the chapel praying. Priests are always busy with other things like canvassing cement for a construction, doing the budget of their office, or coordinating with the barangay,” he said.
“The priest is busy with a myriad of things to make the parish run because probably he is not able to delegate these activities… there are no lay people who can help him and entrusted with these jobs,” said Pabillo.
He urged the faithful to encourage the youth to volunteer.
“Let us help in encouraging candidates to apply. There are many out there, who appear to be bullies but, when invited, they are the willing to serve,” Pabillo said.
He added: “When you love Jesus, you must be willing to serve.”