Udupi Bishop Appeals for Prayer, Solidarity, Cooperation and Support with Suffering People
Udupi: The Udupi Bishop Rev Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo appealed the diocese priest and the parishioners to show solidarity, cooperation and support with the poor people who are suffering during the lockdown.
In circular Udupi Bishop said, Keeping seriously in mind the declaration of a complete lockdown announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi for 21 days across the country from Tuesday midnight (24 March to 14 April 2020) in order to check the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus, I hereby appeal to all: the clergy, religious and lay faithful to fully and completely cooperate with the directive issued by the Government of India (and State Govt. as well) and support it fully in its letter and spirit.
Public holy Masses / liturgical celebrations shall not be held in all parish churches and chapels within the diocese of Udupi until further orders. Priests are permitted to celebrate holy Mass daily but in private and not at the scheduled timings of the church and without the presence and participation of the faithful. Masses are being telecast on Divya Vani Channel. Timings may be made known to the Catholic faithful of your parish to follow them with due reverence. Time has come for all of us to be closer to God in prayer, penance and fasting now more than ever before and to be on our knees imploring God’s mercy, forgiveness and healing as He alone knows what is best for all of us. In this regard, therefore, I appeal to you for the recitation of the Holy Rosary daily in presbyteries, religious communities and families and surrendering ourselves to Divine Mercy through the recitation of the Divine Mercy Rosary and its litany. Along with these traditional spiritual exercises, I strongly exhort especially the priests and religious men and women in this diocese to undertake the Way of the Cross since we are in the holy season of Lent, spend as much time as possible before the Blessed Sacrament in meditation and adoration since we all as specially anointed, consecrated men and women are set apart for a ministry of prayer, penance and intercessions for all.
People all over the world are in shock and turmoil, pain, anxiety and insecurity. The Governments alone cannot do everything, and Health caregivers/workers do wonders and miracles. They all need our support, understanding, cooperation and solidarity. Let us all be therefore generous in being responsible citizens and People of God by abiding Government and Church directives respectively. These are extremely testing times of our generosity, charity, love and service for one another and let us be genuinely magnanimous. The daily labourers, the poor and the needy are the ones who have been/are already affected for their daily bread to earn and have it. Let us also seriously keep them in our mind when we provide the daily needs and necessities of life for ourselves without counting the cost. Human life at all levels is precious and hence let us protect it and promote with the utmost respect, care and concern. Let us see how best we can reach out to these vulnerable and suffering brothers and sisters of our society keeping in mind the restrictions before us, but nothing is impossible for God as He will surely show us the way as He alone is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
Pope Francis on Sunday 22 March 2020 has called for all Christians to respond to the coronavirus pandemic “with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness”, adding, “Let us remain united. Let us make our closeness felt toward those persons who are the most lonely and tried”. On Wednesday, 25 March 2020, the feast of the Annunciation, he has invited us all to recite the prayer Our Father at 4:30 pm (Indian Time). He has invited everyone to participate spiritually through the means of communication in the moments of prayer, Eucharistic adoration and Blessing on Friday, 27 March 2020 which the Holy Father will preside over on the Sagrada of St Peter’s Basilica at 10:30 pm (Indian Time).
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). When we stand with one another in unity, solidarity, love, service and charity, God is surely with us, and no one and nothing can dare to be against us. Prayer is the key and not fear. Let us all join hands with the Government initiatives in combating coronavirus and succeed because God is with us (Emmanuel).