Manila bishop, clergy remember those lost to Covid-19

Manila bishop, clergy remember those lost to Covid-19
Bishop Broderick Pabillo leads a memorial Mass for those who died of Covid-19 at the Manila Cathedral on May 8, 2021. CBCP NEWS

By CBCP News

May 8, 2021

Manila, Philippines

More than a year since the pandemic hit the country, Manila’s Catholic clergy came together on Saturday to remember the thousands who died from Covid-19.

At a Mass in the Manila Cathedral, Bishop Broderick Pabillo told relatives of coronavirus victims that they are not alone in their suffering.

Dozens of priests joined the physically-distanced memorial service as the country battles a renewed surge in Covid-19 cases, with deaths reaching over 18,200.

“As pastors, we priests always carry with us the griefs and pains of our people, and the joys and their hopes. Let us bring them to God,” Pabillo said in his homily.

“We pray for the eternal repose of our beloved dead… believing that the Lord will bring them to another and better life and better world,” he said.

The idea of the memorial day was also sparked by the recognition that, in the words of the bishop, “grief must bring hope”.

“Let us grieve together with our people but our grief is something that brings hope because we are not completely at a loss, we know that God is with us,” Pabillo said.

The “Mass for the Dead” was preceded by a three-day prayer, each with special intention: for frontliners, for the sick, and for the deceased.

The 66-year-old bishop also expressed hope that this grief should give priests the “added push” in their ministry “by doing the best of our fidelity to God”.

“Let us offer the service that we can and that is our prayer. That’s the best service that we can do,” Pabillo added.

“Let us offer the Mass faithfully, devotedly. These are the things that the people are asking,” he also said.

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