Thursday, 11 June 2020 15:25

Pastoral Instruction: Our Eagerness to Serve

My dear people of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,

We are expecting the gradual opening of our church activities, which we believe to be essential services to our people in order to make us resilient in times of crisis such as this corona virus pandemic. We eagerly await this. We not only want to come back to take part in the church services, but for those of us who serve in the different ministries and organizations, we are very much excited to resume our services.

I truly appreciate the time and treasure given by our lay faithful in serving the church. With our very limited number of priests, we really need the services of the lay people in our parishes and in the Archdiocese. But as we want to serve, we are aware that not because the quarantine notices have been downgraded, the corona virus has weakened or has altogether disappeared. The hidden enemy is still around us. So, necessary precautions have to be taken not to be infected, all the more now that people freely roam around. Thus, we follow the instructions given by the Department of Health to minimize the contamination.

Hence, we discourage the elderly, those who are senior citizens, to do voluntary service in the church for the time being. 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 erve 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. Our parishes will surely miss you and your service. In many of our communities, a good number of lay volunteers are among the elderly. So we sorely need younger volunteers. I would 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. We will have to bring communion to the sick and to the elderly near their homes. We will need people to help keep the proper physical distancing and to regularly disinfect our churches. Please help us to get more volunteers.

An important service that the elderly can still do is the service of prayer, which is 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.

Let us keep in mind that in the Church “there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone” (1 Cor. 12:5-6).

Yours sincerely in Jesus Christ,

Apostolic Administrator of Manila

June 11, 2020








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