No public Masses on Saipan, Rota and Tinian from March 17 to 28

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THERE will be no public Masses in all Catholic churches on Saipan, Rota, and Tinian from March 17 to 28, Chalan Kanoa Diocese Bishop Ryan Jimenez said.

This was the decision of the clergy and the diocese staff during a meeting on Monday, he added.

“As you may know, clergy of the diocese recently returned from the Philippines for their annual retreat,” he said.

CNN reported that as of Monday, there were 142 Covid-19 cases in the Philippines.

Bishop Ryan said in compliance with the governor’s executive order, all members of the Chalan Kanoa clergy will go into self-quarantine.

He said beginning March 17, Masses will be live-streamed on Facebook at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

“Please join us on the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa Facebook page and be in spiritual communion,” the bishop added. “We advise everyone, particularly the sick, [and] the elderly…to stay at home….”

But all churches of the diocese will remain open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those who wish to come and pray.

“We are still [reviewing] the activities for the weekend of March 28 and 29 and the upcoming Holy Week,” Bishop Ryan said. “We will make our announcement as soon as things get more definite.”

He urged the public to “face this very complex and serious situation with calmness, vigilance, and great sense of the common good, especially now that we are in the season of Lent. We [must] realize that we are being called to understand the value of solidarity and more intense prayers.”

He added, “Let us seek consolation in our Lord Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd who is always near and who always feels compassion for the sick and the needy.”

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