By Christina Hermoso
Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo has called on the elderly “to become prayer intercessors during this time of pandemic.”
In his Pastoral Instruction entitled “Our Eagerness to Serve,” Bishop Pabillo said that the prayers of senior citizens are “not only important, but indispensable in the Church.”
Though still kept in your houses for the time being, please accompany the church activities with your prayers and spiritual, and even material, offerings. You be our prayer intercessors at this time of crisis,” Pabillo said.
The government and health authorities continue to discourage the elderly from going out of their homes because of the prevailing threat of the coronavirus.
Pabillo also discouraged the senior citizens from doing voluntary services in the church for safety reasons. He asked them to view being unable to go to church physically as a sacrifice and assured them that it is only temporary.
“My dear elderly parish volunteers, even as we appreciate your willingness and good intention to serve, we are also concerned about your health and the health of your family. Please make this sacrifice, and I know for many, it is a sacrifice, not to serve in the liturgical services until this pandemic is over. This is just temporary. The time will surely come when you may again be able to come and serve, which we hope and pray will be soon,” Pabillo said.
The prelate requested the seniors to instead recruit young volunteers to take their place while the pandemic is not yet over.
“I will appeal to our elderly parish volunteers that if you truly love your parish, you will recruit one or two young volunteers to take your place in the church. We need more volunteers now since there are new ministries to be created or strengthened because of our situation, such as the Health Ministry and the Social Communications Ministry,” he said.
“More volunteers are also needed who can assist the church to bring communion to the sick and to the elderly near their homes. We will also be needing volunteers who can facilitate the observance of proper physical distancing and also those who will regularly sanitize the churches every after mass,” the bishop added.
Pabillo commended the tireless effort of the lay faithful who continue to serve the parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila. He reminded the volunteers to remain cautious and vigilant and observe strict safety measures against the coronavirus.