A parish priest in Tacloban, Leyte began holding drive-in Masses in the church parking lot amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Father Kim Margallo of the Saint Jose Maria Escriva Mission Station has set up a stage and an altar in the parking lot so people could attend Mass inside their cars.
“The idea came to me when we had a sharp rise in COVID cases in Tacloban. We are not yet ready to ban celebrating Mass, hence this unique way of celebrating Mass inside cars,” Margallo told reporters.
Father Margallo said church leaders should be creative on finding ways how “to bring Christ even closer to the people” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The people of God need Christ closer, especially during these times. They need Jesus more today to give them hope and courage. If we do not give them the sacraments like Mass, to whom would they go?” the priest asked.
“Many are afraid of the virus, so I took the initiative to let people attend Mass in such a way they could still be with the Lord, even if they are inside their cars,” Father Margallo said.
Those who attend the drive-in Masses roll down their car windows during the Holy Communion while the lay minister approaches them and gives the host.
Also read: Fire hits Sto. Niño Church in Pandacan
Priest in Leyte launches drive-in Masses
Archbishop John Du of Palo in Leyte province has lauded the priest’s initiative.
“I always encourage priests to be more creative in giving the sacraments. I commend them for initiating creative evangelization and pastoral work in our parishes amid this health crisis,” he said.
Besides the drive-in Masses, Margallo said that the parish still offers regular Masses at 7 am, 10:30 am, and 4 pm for walk-in churchgoers.
Meanwhile, Catholic churches in Tacloban have already opened their doors wherein churchgoers could physically attend the Mass provided that minimum health protocols set by the Department of Health are observed.
Churches also offer online services for those who are not allowed to leave their homes, such as those who are below 21 years old, senior citizens, and those who have underlying medical conditions.