Abp. Joseph Arshad declares 20th March a Day of Prayer and Fasting for coronavirus
By: Suzanna Joseph
Rawalpindi: Archbishop Joseph Arshad, Bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, comforted the parishioners in an open letter on 16th March 2020 saying, “As we know that the world today confronts us with a dangerous coronavirus (COVID 19) affecting various countries. I wish to express my closeness to all those who are ill with coronavirus and to health care workers who are caring for them. History witnesses that the Church has always been the forerunner for the care of the suffering and needy humanity that is challenged by any natural or man-made disaster. The service of the suffering humanity is actually Christian calling. In this time of Lent, we are even more concerned for human beings.”
He insisted on strictly following the directives issued by the Government of Pakistan and taking the precautions:
1. Avoid as much as possible the public gatherings, meetings; or any occasion that can bring a crowd together in church premises and other institutions.
2. Considering the continued increase of coronavirus, administer the Holy Communion in hands.
3. Avoid handshaking or other direct physical contact during the liturgical ceremonies.
4. Make sure that the people leave the church campus as soon as possible.
5. If anyone has flu, bad throat or fever, advise them to stay at home for the safety of their other brothers and sisters.
6. Make all the faithful aware about the coronavirus (COVID 19) and the precautionary measures about it.
7. In case you know any suspected case about coronavirus (COVID 19) inform the Government Help Line 1166.
He closed the letter saying, “Therefore, in this situation, I encourage you all to pray and be at the service of the people suffering because of coronavirus (COVID 19).”
He also invited all the faithful of the Diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi to observe A Day of Prayer and Fasting on Friday 20th March 2020, for those infected, for the efforts of those in Authority, for the medical and scientific experts, and for all those who may feel anxious. That the Almighty Merciful God may bring strength, comfort, and healing to all.
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