Bishop Broderick Pabillo celebrates Mass at the San Felipe Neri Parish Church in Mandaluyong City on May 26, 2020. PHOTO FROM SFNP FACEBOOK PAGE

Manila Bishop Calls for Younger Church Volunteers

‘We will have to bring communion to the sick and to the elderly near their homes’

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Manila’s Roman Catholic Church is asking young volunteers to help with religious services as it anticipates the reopening of churches, reported CBCP News.

In a statement released on June 11, Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that to return to worship in churches, volunteers would be needed with administering church services.

“We need more volunteers now since there are new ministries to be created or strengthened because of our situation,” Pabillo said.

“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,” he said.

The Church has discouraged older, susceptible adults from attending Mass so as not to expose them to the coronavirus.

Many of the parishes’ lay ministers and volunteers are elderly and are said to be more vulnerable to the disease.

The bishops’ conference has earlier asked parishes to also train younger lay ministers of communion.

“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,” Pabillo said.

The prelate stressed that the measure is temporary due to the spread of coronavirus.

He also said that a vital service that the elderly can still do in their homes is prayer, “which is not only important, but indispensable in the Church”.

“Pease accompany the church activities with your prayers and spiritual, and even material, offerings. You may be our prayer intercessors at this time of crisis,” he said.

Unlike most regions, Metro Manila is under general community quarantine (GCQ) status, where authorities imposed much stricter restrictions on religious services.

Pabillo said they are still hoping for the gradual opening of church services, “which we believe to be essential services to our people”.

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