Catholic bishops in the Philippines called for a collective prayer for “healing” and an end to the coronavirus pandemic.
The bishops particularly asked the faithful to pray “ten Hail Mary’s daily” in Catholic schools and seminaries, parishes and communities.
The nationwide prayer campaign will start on Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption, and will end on Sept. 15, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.
The Marian prayer, according to the bishops, is to be recited at 12 noon “wherever you may be”.
The “call to prayer” was contained in a joint pastoral message on Covid-19 issued by the bishops’ Commission on Seminaries and the Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education.
The statement was released Wednesday in time for the upcoming opening of the new school year.
“We invite all to a collective prayer action to lift the lockdowns and help heal the nation. God always listens and nothing is impossible with Him,” they said.
The bishops also called on Catholic colleges and universities to make sure that scientific studies about Covid-19 are widely shared to the general public “using reason, science and Catholic social teachings”.
While saying that medicine is not the expertise in seminaries, “let us drink from the well of Catholic social teachings how to face this worldwide pandemic”.
“These will give our countrymen an access to the truth that will free them from baseless fears and unnecessary anxieties,” the bishops said.
The church leaders also appealed to parents and teachers to attend to the special needs of their children during these “extraordinary times”.
“Let us insure their balanced growth and formation of the mind, body and soul,” the bishops added.
“There is a bigger and brighter world beyond the virtual world that our children have been accustomed to during the lockdowns,” they also said.