Filipino priest in Hawaii helps to spread the word of God in virtual ways

HAWAII — Like thousands of churches and places of worship, St. Michael Church in Oahu remains empty while the global community battles with coronavirus.

It’s been quite challenging for the faithful, especially during Lent.

So Father Ernesto Javier decided to keep serving them in a virtual way, by live streaming masses and daily prayers.

“When we ask them to join us with the spiritual communion, they are supposed to act also like coming to Mass. They also have to prepare an altar. They have to dress properly. They are not supposed to be distracted during the mass when they join us for live streaming.”

Livestreaming Masses is nothing new. But since the coronavirus pandemic — many parishes, even smaller churches like St. Michael’s, have signed on.

“Many of my parishioners are appreciating it so much, because many of them are sending me messages, being thankful that they then don’t feel abandoned, especially in these trying times.”

And there’s another important service Father Ernie provides, just like this one being offered by a Maryland priest.

“The drive-thru confessions is I still open the church so visibility, they can still see the church, inside the church, but I have to stay outside, and people would just have to stay in the parking with social distancing at least 6 feet away.”

Fr. Ernie admitted this brings some challenges, too.

“It’s kind of beneficial for the penitence because we cannot understand. We could hardly hear, but still we give the absolution because they have the intention to come for confession.”

Father Ernie said they all pray for this pandemic to end soon, and hope that by Holy Week, they could welcome people in church once again.

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