My dear People of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,
We are nearly 15 months into the Covid 19 Pandemic. While we are grateful for the scientific and medical progress being done to stop this pestilence, as a community of faith we unceasingly use the resources of our faith to call upon us heavenly help. Let us heed the powerful and trustworthy Word of God in the Scriptures. We hear God’s Word to Solomon: “If I close heaven so that there is no rain, if I command the locust to devour the land, if I send pestilence among my people, if then my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and heal their land” (2 Chr. 7:13-14).
We have been praying since day one of the pandemic. But have we prayed enough? Have we really humbled ourselves? Do we strive to seek the will of God and be pleasing to him? Has each of us turned from our sins and begged for pardon? Let us set a date that we as an Archdiocese do this together. So I invite you all to join in a day during which we implore God’s mercy on us. It will be on June 1, the beginning of the month of the Sacred Heart, and for us in the Archdiocese, the month that we will receive our new archbishop.
I invite all to join in a day of prayer and fasting. We can all do these in our homes and even in our offices and places of work. Because of the health protocols we cannot externally manifest this desire to humble ourselves. Let the priests, the spiritual leaders of your parishes, schools, and ministries, do this on behalf of the people while you join us online. At 8:30 am the priests will gather in Quiapo Church for a communal penitential service during which they can confess their sins to one another. We priests also admit our failures during this year of pandemic. We may not have been courageous enough in encouraging the flock, not creative enough in serving those in need, not prayerful enough for the sake of our people. We are sorry. We express this sorrow with a penitential walk from Quiapo Church to Sta. Cruz Church where we will together celebrate the Eucharist, praying for you, our people, for the needs of the country and the world in this time of pandemic. Please join us in humbling ourselves before God.
I invite all the priests to join in this very important action for the sake of our people. Let us do this in Spirit and in Truth.
In the afternoon all the parishes will celebrate Mass with the people pleading for forgiveness and healing of our land.
We heed this call of the prophet: “Between the porch and the altar let the priests weep, let the ministers of the LORD weep and say: ‘Spare your people, LORD!’” (Joel 2:17).
Yours truly in Christ our Savior,
Bishop Broderick Pabillo
Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila
May 25, 2021