Balanga bishop to elderly churchgoers: Stay home, watch virtual Mass

BALANGA CITY — Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos urged elderly churchgoers to stay at home and watch the Holy Mass through live streaming instead, as religious gatherings are now permitted under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

Santos stressed that they will abide with the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases on limiting the capacity to 10 and having age restrictions during religious activities and services.

“I know how and what you feel. You want to be physically present, to attend and to commune; not just to watch virtually nor from a distance. We know well from our catechesis that the Holy Eucharist is present, alive, and communal,” Santos stated in a letter addressed to elderly churchgoers.

He added that senior citizens are considered one of the most vulnerable and prone sector to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and advised them to stay away from the crowd and avoid congested places.

“To stay at home is to make us safe from being contaminated or get someone contaminated. Coronavirus is our enemy that we cannot see. It thrives and hides in the crowd. We all have become the unknowing and unwilling prey of this virus. Coronavirus does not choose who to infect. It is not selective,” Santos explained.

“To stay at home is not only for our safety but much more for others’ safety too. It is our service to others in saving them from being contaminated. We are sparing them from possible sickness from Coronavirus,” he added.

In view of this, Santos suggested churchgoers to attend Holy Mass every Sunday through live streaming on virtual platforms such as official Facebook pages of parish churches.

Official Facebook accounts of parish churches in Bataan, where live streaming are posted, can be viewed at

“Our home is now our domestic church. God is with us and resides in our household. We are in communion with God, along with our family members, in the confinement of our homes. God always provides ways and means for us. Currently, He is using the Holy Mass live streaming to reach us, be near us and in spiritual communion with Him,” he said.

Moreover, Santos asked for patience from the public, and assured them that the challenges brought by the pandemic will surely come to pass. 

“We will see our Churches are opened again. We can come and celebrate the Holy Mass together. And truly, our Holy Mass is eucharistic, that is, thanksgiving,” the prelate furthered.

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