Manila (Agenzia Fides) – A “virtual tour” via the web at the cemetery, with prayers for their dead, listening to a meditation, a chance to leave an offering: is an initiative launched by the Office of Social Communications of the Episcopal Conference of the Philippines, and specifically intended for Filipino migrants abroad, on the occasion of the 1st and 2nd of November festivities, when the Church celebrates the Feast of All Saints and the Commemoration of the Dead.
The initiative, explains to Fides the Office of Philippine Bishops guided by Mgr. Pedro Quitorio, stems from the awareness that Filipino workers abroad are over 8 million, and are increasing every year. They are mainly fervent Catholics and, among other things, are also a potential of evangelization for the Churches in Western countries and Arab countries. The festivities of the first days of November are very much felt by the Filipino Catholic population and the fact of being away from home and from their family, not being able to visit their loved ones, is a great suffering for the emigrants. This is why the Bishops have sought a solution that, thanks to new technologies, could meet this requirement and “shorten the gap”. This is how the website www.undasonline.com (“Undas” is the term in the local language to indicate the festivities of November) was born, where the faithful abroad can carry out a virtual trip to the cemetery and visit the graves of their loved ones , remaining in communion of prayer with them.
Referring to the feast of All Saints and All Souls, Mgr. Quitorio adds that these moments are not to be exploited for the 2013 election campaign, and calls upon the Filipino politicians not to exploit them in order to gain advantage: therefore, says the Bishop, one should not put up posters , banners and campaign materials in the vicinity of cemeteries, or do campaigns in churches. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 31/10/2012)