Filipino Catholics ride out pandemic with greater ‘communion of souls’ through technology

Holy Week observance in the Diocese of Cubao in the Philippine capital is broadcast online through social media. Church leaders in the country have admitted that online streaming and broadcast of religious activities reached more people, even so-called lapsed Catholics. (Photo by Mark Saludes)

Illness and death, anguish and anger are not the only legacies of the novel coronavirus contagion in the Philippines.

Lapsed Catholics riding out the pandemic in their homes have found renewed faith and are fueling a resurgence in “communion of souls,” said Bishop Gerardo Alminaza.

The prelate oversees the Diocese of San Carlos, a mixed urban-rural community in the central Philippine province of Negros Oriental.

In the congested urban poor communities in the country’s capital, the efficiency honed by Basic Ecclesial Communities or BECs has won belated appreciation from local government units struggling to control the spread of the virus.

Love offerings in cash and in kind continue to pour into the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help of the Redemptorist congregation in Manila’s Baclaran district.

The religious order operates a massive kitchen that serves hundreds of frontline workers in hospitals, the homeless on the streets, and the poor in their shanties.