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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Dumaguete Diocese Creates TF To Help Address Covid-19 Threat

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Bishop Julito Cortes of the Diocese of Dumaguete has created its Diocesan Covid-19 Task Force to help the government and the community address issues related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Cortes created the task force on Monday, just a few days before the province of Negros Oriental is placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) starting April 3.

He said the task force is “to coordinate and oversee our diocese’s efforts in contributing to the prevention, containment, and mitigation of Covid-19 in our community.”

“It is also tasked to monitor, liaise with government and health authorities, communicate updates to our clergy, religious, and lay leaders, and advice the Local Ordinary and Consultors, especially in the organization of charity,” Cortes added.

The Diocesan Covid-19 Task Force is chaired by Fr. Bernie Lingcong, Social Action director of the diocese, while the members are Monsignor Julius Perpetuo Heruela, head of the Diocesan Organization of Renewal Movement and Communities; Monsignor Marino Ybo, parish priest of the Dumaguete Cathedral Parish; Fr. Cyril Jaurigue, Basic Ecclesial Communities director; Fr. Lyndon Zerna, Oeconome; and Fr. John Renil Quilipe.

Meanwhile, with the upcoming implementation of the ECQ in Negros Oriental, Cortes said activities for the observance of Holy Week from April 5, Palm Sunday to April 12, Easter Sunday, would be revised to avoid large crowds and prevent the risk of community transmission of the virus.

Earlier, he issued a circular giving guidelines to parish priests on what to do on these dates, especially on mass gatherings, such as on Palm Sunday.

Because of the Covid-19 threat, the church earlier had to stop holding Masses to prevent the spread of the virus.

For the Chrism Mass, Cortes said this might be moved to a later date this year.

All other activities that entail mass gatherings during the Holy Week will have to be scrapped. Masses and other liturgical rites will be delivered to the homes via live streaming on Facebook, radio, and television.

The reshuffling of the Dumaguete clergy, which was scheduled in April during the Chrism Mass, has been postponed to another date, “after the Covid-19 threat is over and everything will return to normal,” he said.

Cortes explained that the actions taken by the diocese are based on the guidelines from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and the Vatican. (Mary Judaline Partlow pna)


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