Keep The Faith — A Year into the Pandemic

Amidst the grim days that followed Metro Manila’s strict lockdown last March 2020, emerged Radyo Katipunan 87.9 FM’s most celebrated program to date.

On March 19, 8am — the feast of St. Joseph — Ateneo de Manila’s official campus radio aired the first of its live daily masses that have received heartfelt testimonies and staunch support for strengthening the faith of its thriving virtual parish.

Through the efforts of JesCom Executive Director Fr. Nono Alfonso SJ and imaginative set design by visual artist Fr. Jason Dy SJ, the noble initiative of the Ateneo Campus Ministry Office that was previously halted by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), continued and successfully united audiences in prayer through the Ateneo airwaves.

“For the past year of the pandemic, the mission of the RK masses has been to help strengthen the faith of the Catholic faithful, especially the Ateneo community. Every day, we celebrate the Eucharist and feel God’s love strengthening us. We acknowledge, however, that that love must be shared constantly, especially with our fellow Filipinos who continue to suffer because of the pandemic,” recounted Fr. Nono of the online Eucharistic Celebrations then known as, “Keeping the Faith: Daily Mass for Difficult Times”.

From streaming the daily masses, since re-Christened as “Keep the Faith: Daily Mass for Hope and Healing”, the ‘Voice of the Blue Eagle’ went on to produce Lent and Holy Week activities, such as retreats, Visita Iglesia and Veneration of the Cross.

Indeed, helping the Filipino Catholic faithful pray and participate, from the safe confines of home, reflects Radyo Katipunan and JesCom’s humble mission of media evangelization and public service.

“We continue to be a major source of information for the Ateneo community through our radio shows and public announcements. The relief campaigns for those affected by the pandemic and the recent strong typhoons got a lot of mileage and response via Radyo Katipunan,” underscored Fr. Nono.

“There are also shows that go deeper and provide the community with analysis on the myriad problems the Philippine society faces, including the COVID 19 pandemic. And of course, most importantly in this crisis, we provide spiritual and psychological support through our shows that deal with our faith, prayer-life, mental health issues, and many more.”

A year into the COVID 19 pandemic and never-ending adjustment to the ‘new normal’, the overarching mission of Radyo Katipunan’s “Keep the Faith” remains unchanged, undeterred. In every mass presided by our dear Jesuit Fathers, the faith of the Ateneo de Manila community and the greater Catholic faithful is once again reinforced and renewed, through the celebration of the Eucharist — where God’s loving presence sustains and consoles her Church.

Anthony Perez

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