The Novaliches Diocese in Metro Manila has launched an online platform where the faithful can reach out to the church and pray for loved ones who are struggling with COVID-19.
The platform, called “E-Pray“, is available via the free web application, Google Docs. It serves as an online form where people can input their contact details (mobile number or Facebook messenger) so that the church could get in touch with them.
The project was founded by the Diocese of Novaliches’s social communications ministry in hopes of providing COVID-19 patients and their loved ones a safe space where they can connect with a priest for spiritual counseling and prayer. (Read: 3 Mobile Apps to Help You Observe a Meaningful Lent)
Prayers for COVID-19 Patients
According to Fr. Luciano Felloni, social communications director of the Novaliches Diocese, patients have been struggling to practice their faith amid stressful and life-threatening situations.
He said one reason for this is that the ongoing health protocols are preventing Church representatives to connect with those who are in need of their help. (Read: 3 Ways to Support a Friend Who Tested Positive for COVID-19)
“The problem is there’s no direct contact because priests are not allowed to enter in hospitals, in ICUs, and in quarantine facilities,” explained Felloni. “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.”
E-Pray by Novaliches Diocese
The “E-Pray” platform will be manned by volunteers who will connect the faithful with an available priest. Felloni said about 30 priests from across the Philippines and one from New York have so far volunteered “to listen and pray with the Covid-19 patients.”
“Let’s not allow any single patient to go on without prayer, to go on without being blessed by a priest,” he said. “Let’s help in our little and very simple way. Let us help with the grace of prayer.”