‘Humble yourselves before the Lord’ (James 4:10)

‘Humble yourselves before the Lord’ (James 4:10)

Beloved faithful of the Diocese of Catarman,

To you dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the clergy, men and women in the consecrated life, the lay faithful in the parishes who serve in the pastoral and finance councils, lay ministers, catechists and youth leaders, members of confraternities, associations and renewal movements, our brethren serving in the local government of the Province of Northern Samar and in different municipalities, medical frontliners, men and women in uniform, and all the people of God, I turn to you as your bishop and shepherd of our local Church here in Northern Samar:

It has been almost a year and a half that we have been in this pandemic of Covid-19. And until now we are still pressed by this global crisis. We have continuously implored for deliverance from this difficult situation. And we thank the Lord that, with the vaccines developed, we are now beginning to see the light at the end of this long tunnel. But as we have been invoking in the Oratio Imperata, this present crisis should “lead us to conversion and holiness“. The Lord exhorts us in the words of the prophet Isaiah: Let the wicked forsake their way, and sinners their thoughts; let them turn to the Lord to find mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving (55:7).

I am, therefore, calling for special DAYS OF PRAYER, FASTING AND CHARITY FOR DELIVERANCE FROM COVID-19 (AUGUST 5, 6 AND 7). It will be spearheaded by our priests and the religious faithful in the Diocese together with all the laity. The prophet Joel reminds us of the need for the priests to take the lead in the act of repentance with and for the people: between the porch and the altar let the priests weep, let the ministers of the Lord weep and say—”Spare your people, Lord!” (2:17). The program of activities for these days will include penitential walk, sacramental confessions of priests and of the lay faithful, observance of fasting and abstinence, organizing community pantries by parishes/mission centers, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and celebration of the Holy Mass for the end of the pandemic. Day 1 (August 5) will be a Day of Sanctification of Priests [venue: Diocesan Shrine of Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno]; Day 2 (August 6) will be for the First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; and Day 3 (August 7) for the First Saturday Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary [venue for Days 2 and 3: respective parishes and mission centers]. Specific details will accompany this Pastoral Letter. Official guidelines on health and safety protocols should be religiously observed.

Gird yourselves and lament, you priests! wail, ministers of the altar! Come, spend the night in sackcloth, ministers of my God!
Joel 1:13

+EMMANUEL C. TRANCE, D.D.
Bishop of Catarman
31 July 2021

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