In the grim days following Metro Manila’s strict lockdown last March 2020, emerged Radyo Katipunan 87.9 FM’s most celebrated program to date, “Keep the Faith: Daily Mass for Hope and Healing”
On March 19th at 8 am—the feast of St. Joseph—Ateneo de Manila’s official campus radio aired the first of its live daily masses that have since received heartfelt testimonies and staunch support for strengthening the faith of its thriving virtual parish.
“When the national lockdown and the University shutdown were declared, the task of continuing the work was passed on to Jesuit Communications, and, of course, the Jesuit priests holed up inside the campus,” recalls Fr. Nono Alfonso in the foreword of JesCom’s newest publication, ‘Pandemic Graces’.
“Every day, for the past 19 months, Jesuit priests would trek to the JesCom building to celebrate the Eucharist, which would then be streamed live through Radyo Katipunan, the Ateneo Campus Radio.”
Now available on the JesCom Online Shop (JOSH), the first volume of ‘Pandemic Graces’ compiles the touching homilies, from March 2020 through 2021, that have strengthened the spirits and inspired the hearts of ‘Keep the Faith’ mass-goers.
For Fr. Nono and his Jesuit brothers, the countless prayers and petitions offered in every Eucharistic Celebration continue to unite Radyo Katipunan’s parishioners, beyond their homes and even across different time zones.
“Like in a real Church, people started sending petitions—for relatives afflicted with or dying of Covid, for family members trapped in foreign countries, and, for the safety of doctors, nurses, and other frontliners. Radyo Katipunan became a virtual parish,” marvels the JesCom Executive Director at the daily mass’ heartwarming feedback.
“We could only thank our followers for waking up every day to join us in our celebration of our Faith amidst the crisis. They would never know however how much more indebted we are to them for allowing us to perform our priestly duty and ministry, albeit virtually,” he acknowledges, thanking the Voice of Blue Eagle’s loyal audiences who have since attended recollections and Lenten services broadcasted via its social media pages.
As readers relive the reflections found in ‘Pandemic Graces’, Fr. Nono hopes that the homilies and memories serve as a helpful reminder of how the ‘Keep the Faith’ community has thrived amidst adversity, and of God’s loving presence in the Holy Mass, that never fails to sustain and console his Church.
“A hard copy of select homilies like this one, would be a ready reminder or memento of the turbulent times we have lived through as a virtual parish, and the blessings and graces during this pandemic that we nonetheless received and reflected on as one community who, following the Ignatian rule, could ‘find God in all things’, even in the worst of times.”
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