UCA News

Philippines

Manila Catholic schools become anti-virus shelters

Top educational institutions do their bit to help homeless, healthcare workers amid Covid-19 pandemic

Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Manila Catholic schools become anti-virus shelters

A soldier takes part in a communion service with wrapped sachets of ‘holy host’ or communion bread at a checkpoint in Manila as the city implements an enhanced community quarantine to fight against the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo: Maria Tan/AFP)

Share this article :
Catholic schools opened their doors yesterday to give shelter to healthcare workers and the homeless in the Philippine capital Manila amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

De la Salle University-Manila, Malate Catholic School, Paco Catholic School, Holy Trinity Academy and the Espiritu Santo Parochial School-Manila will serve as temporary homes and dormitories to more than 500 street dwellers and healthcare workers until April 12.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the apostolic administrator of Manila Archdiocese, thanked the parents and administrators who agreed to “open their doors.”

“We laud this gesture of our school directors to provide quarters for the homeless, street dwellers and health workers where they can be safe and secure,” the prelate said.

The bishop added that volunteers will “provide for the basic needs of those who are taking shelter.” He also assured parents that the archdiocese will help ensure that the schools will be Covid-free before classes resume.

De La Salle University-Manila also announced on social media that it is providing shelter to around 100 beggars and street children.

The university, together with the Congregation of the Society of the Divine Word, is giving food packs and toiletries to those who are on campus. The university is also welcoming donations from its alumni and the public.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, called on fellow Catholics to think “not only of ourselves” but of others.

In his reflection “Emergencies and Charity,” Cardinal Tagle said that a “pandemic virus must produce a pandemic ‘contagion’ of charity.”

“During emergencies, we instantly think first of ourselves, our families and the people close to us. We will do anything within our means to protect them. While this reaction is basically good, we should be careful so that we do not end up thinking only of ourselves,” wrote the former archbishop of Manila.

He added that fear should not make people blind to the needs of others. One cannot wash their hands of the “responsibility towards the poor and the homeless.”

As of March 26, the Philippines had recorded 707 Covid-19 cases with 45 deaths, according to government figures.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
 
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM

Publisher

Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."