Diocesan Circular 16: Gradual Reopening of Churches for Public Masses

DIOCESAN CIRCULAR No. 16 Series of 2020

To: All Clergy, Religious and Faithful

Re: Gradual Reopening of Churches for Public Masses

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
Peace in the Risen Lord!

Governor Al Francis C. Bichara recently released Executive Order No. 18 on Providing Guidelines for Religious Worship/Services in Albay within the period of General Quarantine, that states: “All religious gatherings for purposes of worship/services shall be permitted subject to the following terms and conditions:

(1) Strict compliance with the requirements of social distancing (at least two meters), hand washing, wearing of face masks and/or other protective facial equipment and other minimum health standards shall be imposed, to be monitored by the religious organization hosting the religious worship/services.”

In this connection, we shall gradually reopen our churches to celebrate public Masses on the following dates:

May 25, 2020, Monday after Ascension: Start of Weekday Masses in all Parishes

May 31, 2020, Pentecost Sunday: Start of Sunday Masses

The maximum allowed attendance depends on the number prescribed by the IATF, which is 10 for now, but we have sent our proposal to the IATF to allow for more.

However, even if and when our request is granted, anticipated and Sunday Masses with the faithful are still suspended, until further notice, in the following parish churches and chapels in the Legazpi-Albay-Daraga (LEALDA) areas due to the continued threat of COVID-19:

St. Raphael the Archangel Parish, Legazpi City

St. Jude Thaddeus Filipino-Chinese Personal Parish, Legazpi City

Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Tahao Road, Legazpi City

Redemptorist Church, Gogon, Legazpi City

St. Padre Pio Parish, Rawis, Legazpi City

St. Vincent Ferrer Parish, Bigaa Legazpi City

St. Gregory the Great Cathedral Parish, Old Albay, Legazpi City

San Ramon Nonato Parish, Tagas, Daraga, Albay

Our Lady of the Gate Parish, Daraga, Albay

For the same reason, Masses with the faithful are still suspended during Thursdays at St. Jude Thaddeus Church, on Wednesdays at Redemptorist Church, both in Legazpi City, and on First Fridays at the Shrine of St. Vincent Ferrer in San Vicente, Tabaco City, until further notice.
I enjoin all parishes to ensure the safety of our faithful by supporting our local government units’ efforts in observing social distancing as well as other hygienic protocols such as the use of thermal scanners, foot baths, alcohol dispensers, and face masks, in order to be ready for the reopening of our churches. For more detailed instructions, kindly refer to the attached document, Diocese of Legazpi Guidelines for Liturgical Celebrations in the “New Normal”.
May our public celebration of the highest form of prayer, through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, our Lady of Salvation, bring healing to our nation and the whole world.

Sincerely yours in the Lord,
Bishop of Legazpi

Rev. Fr. Laurence C. Bringino
May 21, 2020

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