There are some people who do not believe the existence of the intangible things in the world. In the Philippines, the number of the Coronavirus patients has dramatically increased since the beginning of March 2020. That is why the President Rodrigo Duterte’s Government has imposed the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) over the entire Luzon area. However, the local situation is quite different now.
How many times has someone climbed a mountain only to find that they are still not at the summit? And, in fact, a cliff lies between them and the higher peaks. Throughout history, humanity has passed through different crises such as wars, natural disasters, and epidemics. Because such calamities can bring us face to face with the limits of our existence, they can have a huge impact on humanity. In our current situation, we are facing a force which we cannot see,or control, and this invisible virus has brought us to an existential cliff. We thought that we had things pretty much under control, the economy was strong enough for us to live well, spending our time searching for the latest phone or best television.
As the news of the Wuhan virus started if felt like another MIRS or SARS virus outbreak. With time it will pass, I thought. Little did I realize that it was soon to be a pandemic. If it were biblical times it would be called a plague: it was and is. The whole saga became existentially real when the virus broke out in a cluster at a pseudo Christian church in Daegu city.
Covid-19 has been the trigger for a dramatic downturn in an already stuttering global economy with many economists suggesting we are headed not only for recession but a ‘greater depression’. What is one person’s recession is another person’s depression especially when it hits my home, my finances, and results in the loss of employment.
If you were a young idealist thinking about a worthwhile career, the ongoing struggles with coronavirus and its media coverage might push you towards the caring professions or science as worthwhile options. Even if you are not a fan of the ‘heroism’ card, it is difficult not to be impressed by the pivotal role the medical and scientific communities are playing in the ongoing coronavirus drama. If you needed encouragement to jump into nursing, science, or similar, the past few months have certainly provided it.
When I was in the Philippines, I was assigned to two parishes, St. Peter Parish, Shrine of Leaders during my first term and Shrine of our Lady of Mercy during my second one. As both are Shrines, there were lots of pilgrims visiting those two places every day, so there were six Masses on weekdays and more than 16 Masses were held on weekends. Since more than 80 per cent of the population is Catholic in the Philippines, every Mass was filled with parishioners and pilgrims, and even, many of them stood outside the church door to attend Mass. On the way around the mission area,
From May 11-13, 2020, a small group of Columban companions represented by myself, Josefa Vasakula (National Coordinator) and Columban lay missionary Jennifer (Jake) Lunor led a workshop, in Fijian, on the meaning of the Liturgy, especially the Eucharist, given that we are in a time when the vast majority of Catholics are unable to access to Mass, except online. The ideas for the seminar were prepared by a liturgist Sr. Carmel Pilcher, who had given input to our spiritual year seminarians a few weeks previously.
Hello! My name is Fr. Marco Henriquez, and I am a Columban priest living and working in the archdiocese of la Serena, which is about six hours from Santiago, Chile. I became a parish priest here in December 2019, and there was no priest in residence for the previous 16 years. It is a large parish spread all over the countryside. It has 43 communities. This part of the country has been severely affected by ten years of drought, so life for most of the people here is tough.
Columban Fr. Frank Hoare gives 10 insightful tips to staying stress free during the Coronavirus pandemic. His stress-relief suggestions help find ways to look after ourselves mentally and emotionally during these trying times.