My dear people of God,
The Philippine government has declared a Community Quarantine and cancellation of all mass gatherings including the celebration of Holy Mass in the National Capital Region as a way to combat the rising spread of Covid-19.
I enjoin our faithful to cooperate with the government’s efforts to contain this serious threat even as this challenge comes to us during the Lenten Season when we observe our long cherished traditions. However, this perhaps is the time when we are called to interiorized God’s summons through the Prophet Joel, “Rend your hearts, not your garments.” (Joel 2, 13)
There will be no public celebration of Holy Mass in all the parish churches and chapels in the Diocese of Cubao starting tomorrow, March 14, 2020. I hereby grant Dispensation to all our Catholic faithful from their Sunday obligations during the cancellation.
I will be saying the Holy Mass in private everyday starting tomorrow, March 14, at 8:00AM and will be livestreamed on the facebook page of the Diocese of Cubao. Our priests, too will continue to say the Holy Mass in private and pray for you and your intentions. I request that you pray with us the Oratio Imperata. Depending on the facility of the parish, the private mass of our priests will also be available on-line. Veritas 846 and TV Maria will also broadcast regular masses.
Churches will remain open for our faithful to come and pray. Those who are visiting the churches must maintain the necessary precautions —proper hygiene, proper respiratory etiquette and social distancing.
In solidarity with all the other churches in the NCR, parish churches in Cubao shall continue to toll their church bells every 6:00AM, 12:00NN and 6:00PM and to pray the Angelus in silence.
I ask families to put up their own altar at home, light a candle and pray as one family. Maybe this time we cannot worship physically as a community but we will remain spiritually in communion with one another.
We entrust ourselves to the mercy of God who knows the difficulties of our situation. He who is greater than our hearts knows our fears and anxieties and will never abandon us. With Saint Paul we declare, “nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39)
✠ Honesto F. Ongtioco, DD
Bishop, Diocese of Cubao
March 13, 2020