OAR missionaries in Taiwan follow Church guidelines vs COVID-19 outbreak

7

Kaohsiung, TAIWAN – In cooperation with the church’s efforts to curb the outbreak of the novel coronavirus now called COVID-19, the Augustinian Recollect missionaries who are administering five parishes in the Diocese of Kaohsiung followed the pastoral directives of the Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference (CRBC) in Taiwan.

Recent news reports revealed that over 75,700 of people worldwide had been infected by this virus that purportedly originated in Wuhan, China, and, more than 2,000 among those infected had died.

Taiwan has 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection. Last February 16, 2020, a 61-year old male taxi driver in central Taiwan died of coronavirus infection. This was the first recorded death due to COVID-19 infection in Taiwan.

The Diocese of Kaohsiung, following the directives of the Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference (CRBC) in Taiwan, released Pastoral Guidelines on Epidemic Prevention dated January 30, 2020.

Signed by Most Rev. Peter Liu, the said guidelines aimed “to ensure that the sacramental care for the faithful remains unaffected and allowing peace of mind in the continuance of receiving the holy Eucharist and other Sacraments.”

It also laid down specific instructions for priests and the faithful to follow, such as wearing of face masks during the entire celebration of the holy mass and other sacraments, conscientious washing of hands, and availability of disinfectant alcohol in the church and other publicly used spaces within the church compound.

Other specific precautionary measures to prevent infection concerned the physical contact among the faithful. Hence, shaking of hands during greetings of peace, offertory procession, receiving of the Holy Communion by the mouth, imposition of ashes on the forehead on Ash Wednesday, kissing of the Cross on Good Friday, etc. were temporarily suspended.

The pastoral guidelines also enjoined the faithful “to cooperate with the government’s instructions during the epidemic prevention period and invites everyone to pray for those infected, quarantined and their families as well as the medical staff and those who care for the infected ones.”

Furthermore, the CRBC also released an official Prayer of Deliverance from the coronavirus outbreak which should be prayed at every Mass.

The four-member community of Recoletos missionaries in Kaohsiung faithfully continue to carry out the said guidelines in their parishes namely: San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish and Holy Cross Parish in Taliao; St. Joseph Parish and Our Lady of Victory Parish in Xiaogang; St. Augustine Parish in Linyuan; and the St. Ezekiel Moreno Chapel in Pingtung.

In spite of the scare brought about by this COVID-19 outbreak, the people in Taiwan although cautious, remain calm and confident about the country’s outstanding health care system and the response of its government in containing the spread of the dreaded virus.

Copy of the Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Peter Liu, DD, on the Kaohsiung Diocese Prevention Announcement

(English translation of the Pastoral Letter)

Kaohsiung Diocese Epidemic Prevention Announcement
(Pastoral Letter of Most Rev. Peter Liu, D.D., Archbishop of Kaohsiung Diocese)

That all parishes in the Diocese, religious organizations and communities, be made aware of the Novel Coronavirus (Wuhan pneumonia or 2019-nCoV) to avoid infection and prevent its spread, I hereby announce the following pastoral guidelines.
This is to ensure the care of the faithful, so that everyone who participates in the mass and other sacraments may have peace of mind and their continued presence may not be hampered. Please pay attention and cooperate with the following matters:
1. The Church must be adequately ventilated; Put disinfection equipments in public places where people often come and go to disinfect their hands. Place soap on the sink to clean both their hands.
2. If you are unwell (cold, cough, asthma, fever, etc.) or have contacted a suspected patient, please do not participate in the mass. Instead, you may read the Scriptures, recite the Holy Rosary, pray, or do other good works at home.
3. Upon entering the Holy church, there is no need to dip your fingers on the holy water font to make the sign of the cross. Before entering the church, wear your own mask; the priest must also wear mask while celebrating the sacrament.
4. All things used in the Sacraments, especially liturgical items, must be disinfected with alcohol before and after their usage to keep them clean. Suspend the practice of the faithful putting their own communion host to the ciborium before mass, and of the faithful bringing the bread and wine during offertory procession.
5. Prepare hand cleansing liquid and even some masks at the entrance of the Church for the use of the faithful. Avoid sitting too close to each other during the Mass.
6. In order to reduce the risk of infection, the faithful should refrain from using liturgical books (missalettes) or songbooks. Just listen to the readings during the Mass; Use overhead projector for the songs.
7. During the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the priest and the faithful should wear face masks all throughout. The faithful only receives the Eucharist by hand. Before giving communion, the priest should sterilize his hands with alcohol, and then place the Eucharist on the hand of the faithful. Do not touch the palms of the faithful. A frail faithful or a faithful with disabled hands may be assisted by his or her family member or by the minister of the holy communion to receive holy Eucharist in the mouth. The persons assisting must wear masks and clean their hands afterwards.
8. Just nod with each other during the greetings of peace.
9. The Sacrament of Reconciliation may be done in a spacious room with the priest and penitent facing each other. Both the priest and the penitent must wear masks and, keep at least one meter distance with each other.
10. For your own health safety and that of others, every time you go out, you must wear a face mask in places where there are other people. Be sure to wash your hands immediately after touching any person or object.
(1) The above guidelines are effective until the Ministry of Health and Welfare lifts the warning.
(2) Please also read the guidelines of Taiwan Bishops Conference.
(3) During the epidemic prevention period, unless necessary, large-scale indoor and outdoor activities are suspended.
Besides cooperating with the government’s instructions during the epidemic prevention period, the whole Church invites everyone to pray to the Lord for those who were infected and quarantined and their families, that they may have a speedy recovery, and that God may bless and protect all the medical staff who care for them. We also entrust the epidemic prevention work through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. May our fervent prayers and love for each other draw us closer to her Son. Holy Mary, Mother of God and Health of the Sick, pray for us.

Most Rev. Peter Liu, D.D,
Archbishop of the Diocese of Kaohsiung
January 30, 2020

Translated to English by Fray Joel G. Dequilla

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< 2021 >
January
SMTuWThFS
     1
  • All day
    January 1, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

    54th WORLD DAY OF PEACE

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Cristita Cha, AR

2
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    January 2, 2021

    ATTENTION: Provincial-Level Christmas Party is CANCELLED.

    SIMPLE PROFESSION OF VOWS OF FRAY CHRISLEAN REY PAMILAGA
    SEMONORE, Antipolo City / 10:00 A.M.

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Conrado Flores, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Emma Toro, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Marcelina Nicolas, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Rizalina Salera, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

3
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    January 3, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY

    500th Year of the Excommunication of Martin Luther (1521-2021)

    60th Anniversary of the Establishment of a Catholic Hierarchy in Indonesia

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Bella Mojica, AR
    Sis. Basilisa Espinola, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Carmencita Abis, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Melodina Paragat, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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4
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    BIRTHDAY
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    Sis Mary Grace Susas, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Fran Cheska Marie Andan (RAY-Laray)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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5
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    BIRTHDAY
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    Bro. Jose Pepito Gabriel Bonete, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Emiliana Carao, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Leila Barizo (RAY-Cavite)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Cleofe Claro, AR
    +Fray Casiano Cosmilla
    [Attention Recoletos de Manila Community: “the community to which he belongs will celebrate… Mass on the first anniversary of his death” (Add. Code 94a)]

6
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    BIRTHDAY
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Juana de la Merced, AR
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7
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    BIRTHDAY
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8
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    RST: START OF ENROLMENT

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9
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    FEAST OF THE BLACK NAZARENE
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Rosario Bianes, AR
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    |+Sr. Dominga Gargarita, AR

10
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    FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

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    +Sr. Paulina de la Purisima Corazon de Maria, AR

11
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    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Catalina Ruiz, AR
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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12
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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    +Sr. Ma. Fortunata Gayumale Gaspillo, AR

13
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    January 13, 2021

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (1998-2021)
    Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D. (Archdiocese of Cebu)

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Jonathan Casiño, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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14
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    BIRTHDAY
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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15
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Virgin de la Consolacion, AR

16
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    COMMEMORATION OF THE DEAD RELATIVES OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ORDER

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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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    +Sis. Amelia Casiño, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

17
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    FEAST OF THE STO. NINO

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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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    +Sr. Cesaria Barbarona, AR

18
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    WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
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    Theme: “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit” (John 16:1-17)

    BIRTHDAY
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19
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20
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    ST. SEBASTIAN (PATRON SAINT OF MANILA & CAVITE COMMUNITIES, DIOCESE OF BACOLOD)

    SSC-R MANILA’s FOUNDATION CELEBRATIONS
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    Sis. Mercedes Velada, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

21
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22
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    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Victor Bendico, DD (Bishop of Baguio)

23
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    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Marciano Cleofas, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
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    Judith Mondejar (RAY-Caidiocan)
    Kathrine Bacalso (RAY-Laray)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Gertrudis del Pilar, AR
    +Sr. Cresencia Vailoces, AR

24
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    SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD
    [NOTE: Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter, Motu proprio Aperuit illis, published on 30 September 2019, establishes that “the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God”.]

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Paz Bawagan, AR
    Sr. Faith Niña Fuertes, AR
    Sis. Florida San Juan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Raymunda Co, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Analyn Martinez (RAY-Valencia)

25
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    SOLEMNITY OF THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL

    CSNT-Rs 50th (1971-2021) FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY Inclusive dates: January 25-30, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Erlinda Casaje, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Bro. Rodelio Gasparillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Bro. Feddie Junsay, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Joelle Maria Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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26
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    BIRTHDAY
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    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (2005-2021)
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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27
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    BIRTHDAY
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Murita Jara, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

28
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    BIRTHDAY
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    Sr. Fernanda del Pilar, AR
    Sr. Ines Garcia, AR

29
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    January 29, 2021

    LAUNCHING OF HEART SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN 2021 / Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno only

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Francisca Rojas, AR
    Sis. Lourdes Insigne, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Jona Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

30
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    January 30, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
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    Sr. Pascualina Peral, AR
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    Sis. Minerva Alcarde, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

31
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    4TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

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    Sis. Saturnina Antolihao, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
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