MANILA - The Diocese of Novaliches has launched an online prayer service for patients stricken with COVID-19.
The diocese's "E-Pray" connects a COVID-19 patient to a priest for spiritual counseling and prayer, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said in a statement.
"The problem is there’s no direct contact because priests are not allowed to enter in hospitals, in ICUs, and in quarantine facilities," Fr. Luciano Felloni, the diocese's social communications director, said in a statement.
"We can’t offer at this point in time the anointing of the sick, we can’t offer confession. What we can offer is a priest to pray over them," he said.
Those who wish to avail of the service may send their name, contact number or Facebook Messenger name and link to the following:
- Facebook Messenger
- AlmuSalita by Fr. Luciano Felloni
- E-Pray DioNova
- Mobile Number
After registering, the patient will only have to wait for a priest to call him or her, according to information from the Diocese.
About 30 priests have volunteered "to listen and pray with the COVID-19 patients," Felloni said.
"Let’s not allow any single patient to go on without prayer, to go on without being blessed by a priest," he said.
The Diocese launched the initiative weeks after President Rodrigo Duterte re-imposed a lockdown in the capital region and n earby provinces as thousands of Filipinos continue to contract COVID-19 daily a year since the pandemic began.
As of April 7, the Philippines has 158,701 active cases of COVID-19.