COVID-19 infection compels temporary closure of 6 churches in Oro, MisOr

Apr. 28, 2021

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Following reports that a number of Roman Catholic priests here have contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the head of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro has ordered the temporary closure of six churches in this city and in Misamis Oriental.

Ordered closed for a few days are the following parishes: Jesus Nazareno or the Black Nazarene shrine, San Isidro in Barangay Gusa, this city; Our Lady of Candelaria in Tagoloan town; Immaculada Concepcion and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Jasaan town, and Santa Cruz in Laguindingan town, all in Misamis Oriental.

The archdiocese covers Cagayan de Oro, the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Camiguin and the municipality of Malitbog, Bukidnon.

In his letter posted on social media on April 27, Archbishop Jose Cabantan said he made the order “due to the very unexpected, never thought-of, never wished-for, in fact prayed against phenomenon happening in our own archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro due to the pandemic wrought by Covid-19 to which unfortunately a number of our priests have fallen victims.”

The closure, Cabantan said, will be “in effect for 10 consecutive days, beginning April 28 up to May 7 inclusive. In the meantime, these parish churches have to be disinfected.”

According to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity, nine priests, who run the said parishes, have tested positive for Covid-19.

The source added Cabantan, together with his staff, is also on quarantine while the archbishop’s residence is on lockdown until Saturday, May 1.

“This is also our way of showing that we are one with the people, the government and every other person or entity concerned with the overcoming of the spread of the virus of Covid-19,” Cabantan said.

The church official said: “I humbly ask for understanding from our faithful, especially those directly affected, and for prayers for our priests who have fallen victims, and that no other priest may suffer the same fate, so that our priests may continue in serving your in your respective assignments.”

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