On Friday, May 29, the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa will reopen the Mount Carmel Cathedral in preparation for the Pentecostal Sunday Mass.
This will be the first time the church will be welcoming the faithful back physically, following the recent directive released by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres allowing church services to resume, on the condition that attendance will be limited to 25% of the allowed occupancy of the church, and with strict social distancing and sanitation observed.
In a statement, Rev. Ryan P. Jimenez, D.D., the bishop of the Chalan Kanoa diocese, said the restrictions on the number of people inside churches are limited not only to public Masses but also to funerals and weddings. Physical distancing between parishioners and the wearing of masks will also be strictly implemented.
“This health crisis continues to be very serious and all of us are requested to do our part in ensuring that its spread in our community is mitigated. Specific guidelines and restrictions will be released by your respective parishes and pastors,” said Jiminez in a message to the other parishes under the CK diocese.
Sunday Masses at the cathedral will still be livestreamed and broadcasted. Other parish gatherings will remain suspended.
“I also thank our government and health officials for all their efforts to keep our community safe as well for their valuable collaboration with the church as we slowly open for public worship. Let us continue to pray for every member of our community,” Jimenez added.
In a separate interview, the governor disclosed that he has spoken with the bishop about opening up the diocese.
“The bishop has been anxious to open up our church, and so is our faith base and other churches. But again, we have to always be mindful that when we open, whether it’s the church, or a restaurant, the regulation is still there,” Torres added.
He said each church will have to do their own assessment in terms of implementing social distancing and sanitation protocols. “There will be some changes in attending the Mass. …We need to practice the regulations as much as we can. If everybody does their own share of that, we’ll move forward, quicker,” he added.