Santo Domingo (Agenzia Fides) - The Permanent Council of the Dominican Episcopal Conference (DEC) has invited all the faithful to join the "National Day of Prayer" from their homes next Sunday, April 26, from 9 to 11, to ask for the end of the coronavirus pandemic. The day will be broadcast nationally and internationally through various communication platforms, starting at 9 from the Cathedral of San Giacomo Apostolo and from 10 from the Primate Cathedral of America. At 11.00 each Bishop, in his diocese, will preside over the Eucharist which will be broadcast by the local media. In their statement the Bishops highlight: "We remind you that the Church is not closed: we are witnesses that now more than ever there is a Church in every home. We know that you miss going to pay a visit, to work normally, participate in church mass, parish activities, communities, we miss it too! Please stay home and listen to the voice of God. Courage, do not be afraid!".
In the statement sent to Fides, which considers the reality of the country in this time of pandemic, the permanent Council of DEC offers some reflections and guidelines to "strengthen the faith, solidarity and hope of our beloved Dominican people" and to become aware of the measures taken by the authorities to prevent the spread of the virus.
"The Covid-19 experience has brought us general disorder and even the painful loss of loved ones - they write -. But it also touched the sensitive fibers of humanity, suddenly launching us into a greater clarity of conscience regarding our condition of solidarity: nobody - rich or poor - is free from dangers. We all need each other. Throughout the world, thank God, there have been abundant expressions of love for one's neighbor and our beloved nation is no exception".
The Bishops therefore thank the faithful for their collaboration in favor of the most disadvantaged, and the priests and pastoral workers for the creativity with which they continue to be close to the faithful, through different means and forms. They therefore assure that the Church will continue to carry out her ministry of assistance to the sick, the poor, the elderly and those deprived of freedom.
"Without a doubt, the great heroes in the present circumstance are all those people who are exposed to infection with their service: health workers, cleaning staff, food suppliers, national police, military organizations, journalists, among others. Our admiration goes to them and we firmly promise prayer".
In this situation of social isolation, the Bishops invite families to "strengthen the domestic Church in their homes, to love their neighbor while remaining at home and to be creative in the dynamic of the transmission of faith and other values", as well as to follow the studies of children, which can continue in many cases thanks to digital tools.
Finally, the Dominican Bishops encourage "to be more rigorous in respecting the provisions of the authorities" on social isolation, isolation at set times, use of gloves and face masks, frequent hand washing, disinfection of surfaces and objects of common use. (SL ) (Agenzia Fides, 24/4/2020)