My Dear People of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,
During these days, we are overwhelmed by so much suffering. So many are getting sick with the Corona Virus. We all know of people who have died due to the disease. Because of the many restrictions imposed on us, many have lost their jobs, businesses have closed, and not a few are having mental health issues. In the midst of so much pain and uncertainty we call on our God: “Panginoon, kaawaan mo kami! Lord, have mercy! Lord, save us!”
We firmly believe that God is powerful and he loves us. So we turn to him with confidence. Hence, in the Archdiocese of Manila, let us join our hands, our voices and hearts together in prayer and charity to implore God’s help as we also help one another. We hold on to God’s words who said: “If my people… 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. 7:14).
Therefore, all the parishes and religious communities in the Archdiocese will have a Holy Hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament on May 5, 6, and 7 at 6:00 pm which will be live streamed to all the faithful. The Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission will prepare the prayers. There will be a pre-recorded video of a reflection for each day which will be played during the Holy Hour. Together we shall implore the Lord for the front liners (May 5), for the sick (May 6), and for the dead (May 7).
On May 8, the priests of the Archdiocese of Manila will gather for the Mass for the Dead at the Manila Cathedral at 9 am. We bring together at the altar of the Lord all the tears and sorrows of our people for their loved ones. We ask all our parishioners to join in this mass via internet. The whole Archdiocese will mourn for our dead during this
pandemic but with great hope given by the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. A memorial wall can be set up in parishes with the pictures of those who have died this past year. This can serve as a reminder to all to always pray for them.
As we beg for God’s mercy, let us also be merciful to our brothers and sisters. So I encourage parishes, BECs, schools, and religious institutions to organize activities and programs that would promote charity, like feeding programs and distribution of food bags and gift certificates. The idea of mutual help among communities which expresses our Bayanihan Spirit has caught fire. This is inspired by the example of the early Christian community in Jerusalem where “there was no needy person among them, fo those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale … and they were distributed to each according to need” (Acts 4:34-35). Thus, the simple aim of “Give what you can. Take what you need.” (Magbigay ayon sa kakayanan. Kumuha batay sa pangangailangan.)
Back in March of year 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, Caritas Filipinas had come up with a campaign: ALAY KAPWA SA PAMAYANAN / CARITAS KINDNESS STATIONS. The idea of Caritas Kindness Station is to decentralize the humanitarian response – so that the communities themselves help the needy, and not through the usual top-to-bottom approach or the donor-to-beneficiaries framework of providing relief assistance. Thus the idea of the Kindness Station is simple: “take what you need, spare some for others, give what you can.” Now we see that this is doable and it is inspiring many people. Let us put our heart into it.
In this moment of crisis, let us look up to heaven and earnestly pray: “Panginoon, kaawaan mo kami.” Just as earnestly let us share even the little that we have through the ALAY KAPWA SA PAMAYANAN that we set up in our communities so that there be no one among us who is in need.
Yours truly in Christ,
+ BRODERICK S. PABILLO
Apostolic Administrator of Manila
April 20, 2021