MANILA, Philippines--Laypersons from the Philippine Jesuits organization are hoping to reach out to people during the Lenten season using the Internet.
Starting last Wednesday (April 8), the official blog of the Jesuits here started a series of online activities called “The Silences of Lent,” which the organization started promoting during the last week of March.
The site is for Catholics who want to continue practicing certain Lenten activities but are at home.
In their blog’s opening essay, people who are at home with Internet connections are encouraged to set aside about 45 minutes anytime during Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Black Saturday.
The online Lenten retreat starts off with a “preparation” for persons to reflect upon themselves. Prayer videos and PowerPoint “prayers” are embedded in subsequent pages.
Visitors are treated to different series of pictures, text and embedded photos and video clips as they move forward in their online retreat.
Apart from busy people, the online Lenten retreat is also for old or sick people who are also wishing to attend processions of the Stations of the Cross. Each of the virtual stations has corresponding video clips, photos and text prayers.
The Stations of the Cross is a widely practiced tradition wherein devotees would walk for long distances and stopping to pray on preset locations representing the 14 events that led to Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and death.
Another virtual activity in the Philippine Jesuit site is an online Visita Iglesia (Church visit). It is also a widely practiced activity to visit several churches in the Philippines.
Among the churches described in the online Visita Iglesia are Quiapo Church , the Benedictine Monastery of Transfiguration in Bukidnon, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Antipolo and the Baclaran Church.