Mangaluru, Mar 21, 2020: The Corona virus crisis has brought a lot of sorrow, fear and anxiety among the people of the whole world. Our Honourable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has given a call to observe “Janata Curfew” on 22 March 2020, from 07.00 a.m. to 09.00 p.m. This implies that we stay indoors during that time. Keeping this in mind, I request that we cancel not only our public liturgical services, as it has been already instructed, but also all private services including the visits to the churches and Blessed Sacrament chapels.
A great number of medical, nursing and paramedical personnel are offering their precious service to protect the people from the pandemic. Similarly, the airlines and emergency transport personnel also risk their life to save the victims of Corona virus. The Prime Minister has asked of us to stand in our balconies and doorsteps on Sunday, 22 March at 05 p.m. and clap for five minutes to gratefully acknowledge their selfless service.
In our Catholic tradition, church bells are rung to invite people to divine service and also to announce good or sad news. While it is possible at the individual level to applaud by clapping hands, at the institutional level, we can express it by ringing the bells. I invite all the parish priests to arrange the pealing of the bells in their respective churches and chapels at 05 p.m. on Sunday, 22 March 2020. This will be a humble expression of our gratitude and great appreciation of these brave men and women who render their noble and selfless service in these moments of crisis. Of course, we do also appreciate and commend the dedicated services of all the Government Staff.
It is our bounden duty to pray for all the people of the world, and especially offer special prayers for those who are sick and those who assist them. Let us not forget to intercede before God for those who plan and execute the measures to eradicate the menace of the pandemic. Let us use this God-given opportunity to express the reality of the family as the “domestic Church” where we come together in faith, love and prayer. Mangala Jyothi has already sent material to indicate the way we can organize prayer meeting within the family to sanctify the Lord’s Day. Let intense prayer rise before God to protect the whole humanity. God bless you.