Catholic Masses in Surigao del Sur suspended after 6 priests positive for COVID-19 | Inquirer News
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Catholic Masses in Surigao del Sur suspended after 6 priests positive for COVID-19

Bishop Raul B. Dael

Bishop Raul B. Dael of the Diocese of Tandag (Surigao del Sur) gives a homily during a Holy Mass for the Earth Day celebration last April 22, 2021. ERWIN M. MASCARIÑAS

BUTUAN CITY — The holding of Holy Masses in the Catholic churches throughout the province of Surigao del Sur has been suspended after six priests were infected with the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Tandag Bishop Raul B. Dael, in a May 23 pastoral letter, ordered a stop in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and other sacraments until May 31 while the priests are either on quarantine or isolation.

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Dael encouraged the Catholic faithful in the province to instead follow online church services.

He said that on weekdays, Mass is at 6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on Sundays.

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Dael added that there is also a daily Kasaulogan sa Pulong (Celebration of the Word) at the parishes headed by the lay minister.

Dael said that all priests in the diocese underwent testing for SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and six were found positive. In addition, a seminarian and a deacon also tested positive for the virus.

Although they showed no symptoms of the disease, the eight are now confined in an isolation facility. The rest of the priests were still advised to undergo 14-day quarantine under the monitoring of their respective local authorities.

“As your Shepherd, I feel saddened by this occurrence. Yet we believe that everything that has transpired has God’s message written all over it…. In this experience, we, your servants, feel a deep unity with your anxieties, suffering, and sadness,” Dael said.

JE

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TAGS: Catholic Church, COVID-19, holy mass, Surigao del Sur
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