Diocese launches app connecting COVID-19 patients with priests for counseling, prayers

  • The Diocese of Novaliches has a web-free platform that aims to connect COVID-19 patients to priests
  • According to Fr. Luciano Felloni, the social communications director of the diocese, the “E-Pray” will allow priests to pray over patients and provide spiritual counseling
  • Currently, they have over 30 priests all over the country willing to help patients

The Diocese of Novaliches has launched an online platform made to help COVID-19 patients struggling against the disease.

Image by Diocese of Novaliches via Facebook

According to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website, the “E-pray” aims to connect patients confined in isolation facilities with priests to help them through counselling or prayer requests.

“E-pray,” which was initiated by the social communications ministry of the Novaliches diocese, uses a free web-based application, Google Form, in which people can type in their contact details. According to Fr. Luciano Felloni, the social communications director of the diocese, they want to help COVID-19 patients handle the stressful situation of being infected as well as being isolated from friends and relatives. He said that spirit counselors such as priests could help lift their spirits and strengthen their faith in God.

“The problem is there’s no direct contact because priests are not allowed to enter in hospitals, in ICUs, and in quarantine facilities,” Felloni explained.

“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,” he added.

The program is manned by a number of volunteers who will match any sick person with available priests.

Image by Diocese of Novaliches via Facebook

Currently, they have around 30 priests from l over the country volunteering to give spiritual counseling. They even have one priest from New York who has 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. Let’s help in our little and very simple way. Let us help with the grace of prayer,” Felloni reminded.

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