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PUBLIC Masses and other religious activities in the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church in UST were cancelled from March 14 to 20 following the pastoral letter issued by the Archdiocese of Manila amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

UST Parish Priest Fr. Paul Reagan Talavera, O.P. however told the Varsitarian that the parish church would remain open.

The Kumpisalang Bayan or mass confessions were suspended but priests will be available to hear individual confessions inside the church at  a definite time. Priests will also be available to administer the blessing of the sick, he said.

Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the archdiocese would monitor the situation “in coordination with health agencies and government bodies” within the week.

“Although we will not be able to come to Holy Mass, this does not mean that we no longer can come to the Lord. We should all the more strive to be in touch with him by fervent prayer,” the letter read.

Pabillo also urged the faithful not to panic but instead “engage in charity to others and the common good.”

Church bells must be rung at noon and at 8 p.m. every day from March 14 onward, to call on the faithful to pray the Oratio Imperata against Covid-19, according to the letter.

Public Masses in Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City were also cancelled following the circular letter released by the Diocese of Cubao, starting March 14 until further notice.

The Santo Domingo community told parishioners to be united in the Eucharist through the prayer for spiritual communion.

“Since we cannot attend Public Masses, we can still unite ourselves to the Eucharist through making a spiritual Communion,” the post on Our Lady of La Naval Facebook page read.

The Diocese of Cubao released a schedule of online Masses that will air on its Facebook page.

Fr. Frederick Edward Simon, chancellor of the Diocese of Cubao, called on priests to celebrate Masses in private and advised them to use social media to reach more people.

Several dioceses in Metro Manila such as Pasig, Novaliches, Parañaque and Caloocan have also suspended Masses and public gatherings amid the coronavirus outbreak.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night placed Metro Manila on “community quarantine” from March 15 to April 12, to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.

As of March 14, the Department of Health has recorded 98 confirmed cases, including eight deaths, of Covid-19 in the Philippines. 


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