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Filipinos urged to prepare spiritually for ‘new normal’

The Filipino faithful must be spiritually ready for the “new normal” that everyone will have to face even after the coronavirus pandemic.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, said people must “meet this new situation … with optimism and courage.”

The prelate also called on members of the clergy to prepare “to enter our new life and our ministry” during the first session of a four-day online retreat for the clergy and church workers in the archdiocese on May 26.




The retreat, an annual activity of the archdiocese, was originally scheduled in July for members of the clergy, but due to the pandemic and the restrictions on mass gatherings, the archdiocese opted to broadcast it online to the public.

Bishop Pabillo noted that people have undergone crises in their lives, in their relationships, in their finances, and even in their faith.

“But may this crisis bring us to renewal, that we can come out of this situation renewed,” he said.

He said it is the right time for Filipinos “to set aside time and evaluate what has happened to us individually and as a Church.”

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“We will not be able to do what we have been doing before, but let us not cling to the past …. It is not only the time to look back to what happened, but it is also a time to look forward,” said the bishop.

He said people might think that “we are less effective” as a Church because of the many changes and challenges that the pandemic has caused.

But he said “there is also something good here that we can maximize.”

He said the Pentecost, which will be celebrated on Sunday by the Catholic Church, should inspire the faithful to go out from the crisis “enlightened and renewed rather than discouraged.”

Bishop Pabillo called on the faithful to listen and to act on the lessons from the lockdown and “look for and experience the essential” and rethink goals under the new situation.

He said the Church must face “new structures that we have to create and old structures that we have to let go of.”

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