The whole world is reeling from the threat of the coronavirus, which is spreading very fast in the different parts of the world and is claiming many victims. COVID-19 has caused unprecedented disruption as different sports and cultural events, conferences, and churches have closed their doors and medical professionals race to treat those infected and to develop a vaccine. This can be a time of great despair and uncertainty, but also a time of hope, action and most of all prayer. The Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SCJs) from different communities in the Philippines have actively embraced this enormous challenge and try to answer the needs of time by being with the people, taking care of their spiritual needs and alleviating some of their immediate and most pressing necessities.
Here below are some pictures and words describing the activities that have been undertaken in two SCJ parishes: San Lorenzo Ruiz in Quezon City and the Miraculous Medal Parish in Talisay, Hilongos in Leyte. As we receive more news and materials we will keep you updated.
On March 12, 2020, the government implemented the Lockdown in the National Capital Region. And the following week the Enhanced Community Quarantine in the whole island of Luzon, to stop the spread of COVID 19. Immediately, our Parish Leaders and our SCJ Community had a meeting to have a concrete plan of action on how to help our poor parishioners this time of lockdown. As we want to help our Community holistically not only Spiritual aspects but also their physical needs. Since Quezon City is one of the most affected in the National Capital Region. And as of March 23, 2020, the total number of cases 62 positive of COVID 19.
Our response to the situation and needs:
- We have ENHANCED COMMUNITY FEEDING PROGRAM (Monday – Sunday), as of now we have 352 pax beneficiary, in 5 depressed/ poor areas in our Parish. We give them rice enough for 1 week. Our BEC leaders monitor and facilitate the program in their area. As of now, the parish supports the program financially thru our Balik -hangdog fund, BEC fund of different areas, and with some generous families as our benefactors. Duration of our program: Lockdown period.
- We still continue our Feeding Program for 60 children.
- No Public Mass, but we have Online mass daily. Also, we celebrate mass in 2 religious communities to respond to the needs of our parishioners. Since the Inter-Agency and the CBCP discourage having a mass gathering.
- Our activity well-coordinated, to the Barangay. And we work hand in hand to help our people.
(By Fr. Niño B. Etulle, SCJ)
Amidst this ongoing covid19 pandemic, in our own simple ways and prior to the declaration of the community quarantine, we gave out face masks to our parishioners giving priority to the elderly and those with a cough.
As the quarantine has been ordered by the LGU, and the suspension of public masses, our local SCJ community has committed to the praying of the Oratio Imperata at 12 Noon and 8pm. The blessed sacrament is also exposed to individuals to come and pray quietly. Our private masses at 6.30am are live-streamed at our parish Facebook account.
At the moment we suspended our GBSD and the construction work as we give out some kilos of rice to our laborers. The Rice for the Neediest project continues and we are now able to serve all the 84 families monthly, unlike before that only half are given each month alternatively.
We maintain a close collaboration with the local government unit here as well.
By: Fr. Arthur P. Guevara, SCJ