Churches go online in Ilocos Norte as COVID-19 spreads

Published May 3, 2021, 1:08 PM

by Philippine News Agency

 LAOAG CITY (PNA) – Bishop Renato Mayugba of the Diocese of Laoag has announced the suspension of all masses in barangays, homes, and chapels, advising all concerned priests to hold online masses instead to comply with health and government officials’ advisory to limit all gatherings to 10 people to contain the surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

OUTDOOR MASS. Mass celebrations in the province of Ilocos Norte are conducted outdoors with a limited number of people in attendance to comply with health and government officials’ advisory on gathering restrictions. Virtual masses are also encouraged. (Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Laoag)

Except for religious gatherings and funerals which are allowed at 35-percent venue capacity but in no case shall not exceed 40 persons, Mayugba said it is the church’s moral obligation to help in “safeguarding the health of all which is a common good”.
He urged parishioners to consider attending virtual masses which are available in various social media platforms, as well as in radio and television.
At the St. William’s Cathedral, Rev. Fr. Ambrose Emeric Monroy said there will be no regular daily weekday mass schedules from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice.
“Only funeral, marriage and baptism ceremonies will be allowed inside the church subject to specific guidelines issued in the advisory of our bishop,” Monroy said in his Facebook post.
Meanwhile, the parishes in the cities and municipalities with over 10 active COVID-19 cases such as in Bacarra, Laoag, Pasuquin, Sarrat, Vintar, Badoc, Banna, Batac, Dingras, San Nicolas, and Solsona were temporary closed until the rising number of cases will go down.
Earlier, Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc also encouraged all organizations in the province to tighten and strengthen their COVID-19 protocols through working from home, working and meeting outdoors, improving ventilation in work spaces, and not eating and drinking around others, among others.