March 21, 2021
5th Sunday of Lent
My dear faithful in the Diocese of Cubao,
This is the time for prudence, courage and love. With the rising surge of cases of infection swirling around us, the Diocese of Cubao has decided to declare a lockdown of its parish churches for the period March 22 to April 4, 2021. This is to encourage the faithful to stay home and keep them safe.
We will reopen for public worship on April 5, Easter Monday, again, following our existing and perhaps even stricter safety protocols.
Voluntarily closing our places of worship at the highest point of our liturgical year is heartbreaking. But we also open our eyes to a situation that puts many of our faithful at risk. Numbers are surging and scientific data show that unless drastic interventions are done, these numbers will not decline anytime soon. “If anyone has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, yet shuts up his bowels of compassion from him – how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17). Together, we must embrace an act of self-denial for the sake of many of our brothers and sisters.
Your bishop, parish priests, religious leaders, relevant ministries will exert all possible efforts to find the best and most fruitful ways for the faithful to celebrate Holy Week on safe, online platforms.
This is the season of great love. For me, loving our neighbours at this time means keeping them safe. Be comforted that only our church doors will be shut. We keep to heart what Pope Francis says: Jesus says to each one of us: “Courage, open your heart to my love. You will feel the consolation of God who sustains you”.
I continue to pray for your protection and healing.
Yours in Christ,
(SGD) Most Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco, DD
Bishop of Cubao
(SGD) Rev. Fr. Fredrick Edward Simon