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Myanmar Catholics urged to join day of prayer

Church to mark May 14 as a day to call for divine intercession to overcome the Covid-19 crisis

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Myanmar Catholics urged to join day of prayer

Christians attend a Christmas Eve church service at St. Mary's Cathedral in Yangon on Dec. 24, 2019. (Photo: AFP)

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The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar (CBCM) has urged the faithful across the country to join a day of prayer to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pope Francis accepted a proposal from the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity for May 14 to be a day of prayer, fasting and works of charity to call for divine intercession to help humanity overcome the coronavirus outbreak.

The pope made the announcement after praying the Regina Caeli at the Vatican on May 3.

The CBCM issued a letter urging bishops from 16 dioceses to encourage Catholics to join it on May 14 to overcome the crisis following the guidelines of the Holy Father.

Bishop John Saw Yaw Han, secretary-general of the CBCM, signed the letter on May 7.

Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon has also urged the faithful from the Archdiocese of Yangon to focus on prayer, fasting and charitable works on May 14.

"As prayer is a universal value, I have accepted the proposal of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity so that on May 14 believers of all religions unite spiritually in a day of prayer and fasting and works of charity to implore God to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic,” Pope Francis said.

The pontiff encouraged Catholics around the world to pray the rosary in the month of Mary.

Church officials in Myanmar have extended the suspension of public Masses and other liturgical ceremonies in 16 dioceses to May 15 and urged people to follow guidelines from the Health Ministry.

The CBCM and Caritas (Karuna) Myanmar have joined the nation’s battle against Covid-19 through awareness campaigns, providing health aids and equipment and offering church properties to be used as quarantine centers.

The Catholic Religious Conference of Myanmar has also joined with the CBCM in providing protective suits for healthcare workers and making cloth masks for the poor.

Diocesan response teams and nuns have reached out to the communities most in need to provide basic food items such as rice, cooking oil, beans and salt.

The Good Shepherd Myanmar Foundation established by Good Shepherd sisters has provided rice and cooking oil to the poor in places such as Dala township near Yangon, Mandalay, Pyin-Oo-Lwin and Tachileik in Shan state.

Myanmar has reported 176 cases of Covid-19 including six deaths and 62 recoveries, according to health officials.

According to the latest data, more than 270,000 people have died out of about 3.8 million confirmed Covid-19 cases worldwide.

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