Online Visita Iglesia: Continuing Catholic Holy Week Tradition amidst distance and COVID-19

In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak where people are limited in their homes, the faithful can still participate in various Holy Week activities via online—masses, recollections, prayers. And there is also the “Visita Iglesia Online.”

According to CBCPNews, “Visita Iglesia Online is a tool for Catholics under coronavirus quarantine to connect with their faith from even the furthest pew.” For nine years now, it has been helping the Filipinos abroad to keep their faith alive, especially during Holy Week.

Photo from CBCPNews Website

Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, Media Director of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, invites the faithful to make use of the Holy Week online portal especially that the enhanced community quarantine was extended until the end of April 2020.

“Today, when everybody is in quarantine and all liturgy in physical churches are closed to people, Visita Iglesia continues to be a portal for online retreats, catechesis, and liturgical celebrations,” he said.

Msgr. Quitorio also added the portal allows one to pray the “pasyon”, Stations of the Cross, virtually visit churches, and attend streamed liturgical celebrations. The “website was originally intended for Filipinos living in non-Catholic countries and those who are sick or homebound and not as substitute to the liturgical activities done on parishes,” according to the Monsignor.

“Since 2011, online Visita Iglesia has been serving Filipinos in foreign countries, where going to physical church or parish was difficult or impossible… It also helped Filipino seafarers, the sick and those who, for one reason or another, could not make it to churches during Lent, Holy Week, and Easter,” he added.

In 2019, the CBCP Media Office has released a Spotify podcast on the Way of the Cross and the Holy Rosary. Spotify users can play the audio prayers in both English and Filipino versions for free. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 


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