Nueva Segovia Archbishop Marlo Peralta has asked every parish and priest in his archdiocese to have a personal protective equipment (PPE) ready for use if called to do an Anointing of the Sick during this COVID-19 pandemic.
In a circular letter dated Sept. 8, the prelate said priests should take a cue from doctors and nurses who wear PPES, masks, gloves and other protective gears when they enter a COVID patient’s room.
Priests, Peralta said, should also follow other protocols like taking a bath and scrubbing themselves clean when they go home.
“These are the little sacrifices we should be willing to make if only to reach out to those in need. We cannot just make our fear of exposure an excuse to refuse the Anointing of the Sick. Let us be creative to devise ways to secure an added protection for ourselves and those around us,” he said.
Peralta said priests should also use their creativity to find ways to
continue to celebrate Mass in barangays.
“During these times, our lay faithful mainly get their spiritual nourishment in the celebration of the Eucharist where they get nourished by the Word of God and their reception of the Body of Christ. More so as they go through a lot of suffering because of this pandemic, they always long for the Eucharist as their source of strength,” he said.
“They are always waiting for us to celebrate the Mass for them, especially those who live in the barangays and find it expensive to go to our parish churches and attend Mass. Let us not disappoint them,” added Peralta.
Despite restrictions from the government to contain COVID-19
which responsible citizens need to follow, he said, these restrictions should “not make us stop in finding creative ways to still reach out to the people who seek spiritual nourishment.” “As priests, while we are also afraid of the COVID virus, let us not allow our fears to paralyze us into inaction, forgetting the people who need us, especially during these times,” said Peralta.