Most churches in Bohol allowed to celebrate Mass for the 1st time in 3 months
TAGBILARAN CITY — After three months, 65-year-old Juanita Loro finally received communion at the St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral here on Sunday morning.
“This (is) the Lord’s day,” she said with a gratified sigh.
“I was not being able to attend mass for almost three months other than the one on television and Internet. It’s an important day for me,” she added.
Most Catholic churches in Bohol were allowed to celebrate Mass on Sunday, the Feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) also known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
This was the first religious ceremony since masses were canceled on March 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attending masses and receiving Holy Communion required a new process Sunday, June 14, including keeping the amount of people in the church to 25% of its maximum capacity.
At the St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral where it can accommodate at least 2,000 parishioners, at least 200 were allowed inside the church in every Mass.
Like other parishioners, Loro wore a face mask, washed her hands with alcohol, stepped on a foot bath, and had her temperature checked by church personnel before she entered the church.
She also registered her name, address, and contact number in case the details would be needed for contact tracing.
Loro was then ushered to one of the pews where she sat some meters away from other people.
“I feel safe inside the church. It’s all been organized and sanitized with care,” she said.
In his homily, Tagbilaran Bishop Alberto Uy told parishioners that the church is facing “abnormal circumstances” but said everything would be back to normal in God’s time.
He also shared the importance of the Holy Eucharist in the lives of people.
“The Holy Eucharist is like a divine storehouse filled with every virtue God has placed in the world so that others may draw from it,” Uy said.
As ordered by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, people received communion by hand.
One of the churchgoers, Sister Precy, who requested to be identified this way, said the resumption of Masses is a sign of victory over evil.
“We triumphed against Satan who used the coronavirus to close our churches and distract our faith,” she said.
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