“Bringing people back to physical mass is a challenge”

Robertzon Ramirez – The Filipino Star

August 14, 2022 | 00:00

MANILA, Philippines — Bringing people back to physical Masses is seen by a Catholic Church official as a challenge when the COVID pandemic is over, as worshipers are now used to attending Masses online due to movement restrictions in the start of quarantine.

In an episode of The Chiefs on Thursday, St. John Paul II parish priest Aris Sison said many Catholic faithful are already attending physical Masses now that some COVID restrictions have been lifted, but many still prefer Masses. online or live.

“A lot have come back, but I admit it, some seem to have gotten used to the online crowds,” Sison said in a mix of Filipino and English.

Asked about the positive impact of online Masses, Sison said the Catholic faithful had learned to pray, as he pointed out that online or live-streamed Masses were one of the sources of spiritual nourishment for people, especially during the early days of the pandemic.

“Many said that during the difficult times of the pandemic, many said the online masses had really become a source of strength for them. They couldn’t go to church. They were so scared to come out of their homes and online Mass was their only source of spiritual nourishment,” he said.

However, the parochial vicar of the Quiapo church, Fr. Douglas Badong and Executive Secretary of the Public Affairs Commission of the Philippine Conference of Catholic Bishops (CBCP) Jerome Secillano said it would not be difficult to bring people back to the physical masses.

“It’s not a challenge. It is more difficult to invite people to attend Masses physically or online,” Badong said, noting that online Masses are of great help to people, especially those who live alone and those who suffer from mental illness. depression.

He added that hearing the word of the Lord, physically or virtually, helps people to nurture their spiritual needs.

Secillano echoed Badong, saying online Masses have become another form of family bonding, more people have had access to liturgical Masses, and social media platforms have been used for “sacred purposes” because they have been the modern support for holy masses and other religious activities.

The Catholic Church has been forced to hold online or virtual Masses, especially during the onslaught of the COVID pandemic, in response to government measures against mass gatherings and restrictions on the movement of people to prevent the spread. of the virus.
Besides masses, many religious and non-religious gatherings have also been banned by the government.

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