The total number of cases of coronavirus in Peru on 9/12/2020 was 722,832 with 50.7% in Lima and Callao, and 30,526 deaths. The curfew in Peru is from 10pm to 4am. Sundays have again been declared lockdown days. Family and other social gatherings have been banned as well as religious ceremonies.
The Coronavirus pandemic crept up on us like a lion through tall grass. Nobody saw it coming, nor could we have foreseen what a change it would make to our lives. I had only arrived in the parish of Saint Matthias in the middle of March and was just beginning to get to know the parishioners and familiarize myself with the layout of the parish in the poor suburb of Bajos de Mena in Puente Alto when first curfew, then a hard lockdown, were imposed upon us all.
On Holy Thursday Night, April 9, Fr. John Greene, our Columban Associate priest from Dublin, and I celebrated our last public mass so far in 2020 in the parish of Saint Matthias in the Chapel of Our Lady of Hope (Nuestra Senora de la Esperanza) in Chile. That very night the Chilean Government officially imposed a state of strict quarantine for the whole metropolitan region of Santiago, an area of over 7 million people.
Towards the middle of March, when the entire island of Luzon in the Philippines was declared under community quarantine to control the spread of COVID-19, Columban Fr. Andrei Paz was in his hometown, a small municipality in northern Luzon.
Warmi Huasi is a small NGO I set up with other Columbans and three professional women in 2003 to accompany families in poverty and especially children at risk. Over the years, one of the main problems faced by the women in San Benito was that, whilst they worked, their children were at risk. Warmi Huasi set up, with the help of the community, 4 homework clubs so that the children and adolescents have a safe place in which to be, in the afternoons, as well as receive help with their homework. Warmi Huasi also has a reading club in their Centre in San Benito on Saturday afternoons and had built a library and reading club in the local State primary and secondary school so each student has reading time in school.
Taiwan is an island in the southeast of China. The population is about 24 million inhabitants. Due to its proximity and business, many Taiwanese people live in China, so it was thought that COVID 19 would strongly affect the Island. Prevention measures have been immeasurable since ...
Since laborers from the Indian subcontinent started coming to Fiji under the colonial indenture system (1879-1914), the small number of Catholics among them brought a strong devotion to the Italian Saint Anthony, a Franscican friar of the twelfth century.
As I write this article, I am safely sheltered in the U.S. Columban headquarters in Bellevue, Nebraska. Since I am approaching the celebration of fifty years as a missionary priest, I decided to leave Chile for a few months and do a sabbatical program at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. Unfortunately, the program was interrupted because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a humanity. we thought that we had reached a point of development or a point that we could control all situations with economics or the power of our governments. However, this year something that is still out of our control happened. Its a thing that we cannot see or touch but is there bringing to us a lot of uncertainty or destabilizing our lifestyles, That thing has a name, Covid-19. This small virus is causing events that not even the most expert economist in the world could have predicted. The reason why I have started this article with these lines is because the ones who will suffer the most when we overcome this crisis are the poor and the oppressed, which are a priority in our church.
When the Corona pandemic started people thought it was just a passing experience and within a few days’ things would go back to normal. The reality today is far from it. After hearing word that a lot of people within our community were losing jobs and families were going hungry, one of our parishners wanted to start a “Olla Comun” or “Soup Kitchen” as it is called in English to help feed families who can’t afford it.