Manila (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic community of Zamboanga, on the island of Mindanao, in the southern Philippines, will experience 40 days of fasting and penance as the country continue sto struggle with the Covid-19 pandemic. As Fides learned, Mgr. Moises Cuevas, Apostolic Administrator of Zamboanga, announced the initiative "in solidarity with those suffering from the effects of the pandemic". The special "autumn Lent" will begin on October 13th with the ringing of church bells in the entire archdiocese after the rosary has been prayed at 8 p.m. In the weeks leading up to the time of penance, catechesis will be held in all parishes to prepare the faithful for this special time of penance and prayer.
The Bishop asked the parishes to offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation, in order to promote the spiritual and moral renewal of all the faithful.
The 40-day period will end on November 21st, Sunday of Christ the King, with a special "penitential journey" from the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to the Shrine of Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar, in which priests and religious and some lay representatives of the Archdiocese will take part.
In a pastoral letter on the initiative, Mgr. Cuevas, who was recently appointed Apostolic Administrator of Zamboanga by Pope Francis, also announced a special program of "Catechesis on the Word of God", in view of the "Sunday of the Word of God", which will be celebrated on January 23, 2022. Mgr. Cuevas announces that this catechesis will be carried out online "as a way to accompany our faithful and those who, in these difficult times, keep seeking refuge in the Word of God".
Among other initiatives in times of pandemic, the Apostolic Administrator also reports that the Archdiocese is creating points of solidarity and charity in the parishes called "Gifted to Give", to continue helping the poor. "There will be a continuous distribution of material goods in our parishes to respond appropriately and provide for our brothers and sisters in need", he explains. All activities will be directed and coordinated by the new "Archdiocesan Office for the management of the pandemic". (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 27/8/2021)