RCJ-SMP Community Initiatives during the COVID-19 Pandemic (1st Series)
Rev. John Francis C. Aberion, RCJ
With prayer and acts of charity still blossoming during the pandemic, the Communities of the St. Matthew Province took some initiative to help the faithful spiritually benefit through the livestreaming liturgies and prayers, especially in the parishes and formation houses. The rest of the communities are, of course, continuing their exercises of piety, including this crisis' end among their primary intentions.
EXERCISES OF PIETY
The community of Fr. Di Francia Center of Studies in Sucat, Paranaque City has initiated a weekly holy hour of adoration dedicated as a prayer to free the world from the COVID-19, protection of those who serve as frontliners, backliners, and endliners, for those who are afflicted and affected by the pandemic, and for those who died due to the sickness. They usually organize it every Friday at around 8:30pm, to be concluded by the Night Prayer and the Benediction. The St. Hannibal Rogate Center, for instance, for several occasions already, has organized a chain of Eucharistic Adoration. Fr. Alex Clemente, its Superior, constantly visits and say Mass for the only Contemplative Community here in the Diocese of Parañaque.
DAILY LIVESTREAMING OF LITURGIES AND PRAYERS
Meanwhile, several communities offered livestreaming of liturgies and prayers. The St. John Paul II Sub-Parish in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur holds the daily livestreaming Mass every 6:00AM. Meanwhile, the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Multinational Village, Paranaque City holds the livestreaming Masses every Sundays (8:00AM and 5:00PM) and weekdays (7:00AM and 7:00PM). The St. Hannibal Formation Center in Cebu also does livestream of their liturgy every 7:00AM, while the Fr. Hannibal Formation Center in Merville Park, Paranaque City holds them every 7:30AM. The Fr. Di Francia Center of Studies, the theologate of the SMP, holds the livestreaming every 11:00AM, with the praying of the holy rosary at 10:30AM. The St. Anthony’s Boys Village in Silang, Cavite does the livestreaming every Sundays (11:00AM), Mondays to Fridays every 6:30PM, and on Saturdays, 11:30AM. Finally, the St. Hannibal Mary Discernment Center (RogaMina) in Iloilo offers daily livestreaming of the liturgy of the Hours beginning with the Office of the Readings at 4:00AM until the compline at 8:15PM.
HOLY WEEK LIVESTREAMING OF THE LITURGY
A livestreaming of the Holy Week liturgies was held at the Fr. Hannibal Formation Center, in collaboration and coordination with the St. Hannibal Rogate Center and the Our Lady of Beautiful Love (OLBL) Parish, in Merville Park, Parañaque City. Meanwhile, the Fr. Di Francia Center of Studies also offered the livestreaming of the Holy Week, beginning Passion Sunday, and then continued through the Easter Triduum, as well as the Easter Sunday Mass. Other communities also offered the livestreaming of the Holy Week, which this article shall be updated with.
CHARITY, AMIDST THE PANDEMIC
Charity, as a pillar of the congregation and of the Church, is being also shown in the RCJ-SMP Communities. For instance, the St. Hannibal Rogate Center, in collaboration with the Social Action Ministry of the Our Lady of Beautiful Love Parish has volunteered to repack relief goods for the affected sitios nearby. The Fr. Di Francia Center of Studies, on the other hand, has mobilized the religious students to produce face shields and masks for the frontliners, as well as the distribution of food to those needy along the streets and some sitios in Paranaque City, with the help and generosity of the friends and benefactors.
COMMUNICATION OF PRAYER MATERIALS AND NEWS OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE RCJ-SMP
The Provincial Rogate Vocational Center (PRVC) has also mobilized its communications media to spiritually help the faithful during the pandemic. The Facebook page, Rogate Media SMP, has been tapped to communicate the initiatives of the communities as a response to the needs arising during the pandemic. Meanwhile, prayer materials, through the Province’s regular monthly prayer guide Kaya Idalangin, has been featuring prayers on the COVID-19 pandemic, and had them shared through its prayer portal Facebook page Kaya Idalangin. Soon, it will feature sets of prayers, specifically on the pandemic, in the coming days. The PRVC also aided the Holy Week reflection through a creation of a video that featured the FDFCS religious students’ reflections on the Seven Last Words (Siete Palabras) of Jesus. The center continues, as well, the production of the weekly video Light of the Word, featuring Fr. Ulrich Gacayan, RCJ.
(Picture: The religious students of FDFCS making face shields for the frontliners in the fight against the pandemic)