The impact of Covid-19 on the formation House was immense! Students returned at the end of February for a new term to discover that all classes would be online. The students, Jude and I have spent the last three months together in the house every day!
When I was in the Philippines, I was assigned to two parishes, St. Peter Parish, Shrine of Leaders during my first term and Shrine of our Lady of Mercy during my second one. As both are Shrines, there were lots of pilgrims visiting those two places every day, so there were six Masses on weekdays and more than 16 Masses were held on weekends. Since more than 80 per cent of the population is Catholic in the Philippines, every Mass was filled with parishioners and pilgrims, and even, many of them stood outside the church door to attend Mass. On the way around the mission area,
From May 11-13, 2020, a small group of Columban companions represented by myself, Josefa Vasakula (National Coordinator) and Columban lay missionary Jennifer (Jake) Lunor led a workshop, in Fijian, on the meaning of the Liturgy, especially the Eucharist, given that we are in a time when the vast majority of Catholics are unable to access to Mass, except online. The ideas for the seminar were prepared by a liturgist Sr. Carmel Pilcher, who had given input to our spiritual year seminarians a few weeks previously.
Hello! My name is Fr. Marco Henriquez, and I am a Columban priest living and working in the archdiocese of la Serena, which is about six hours from Santiago, Chile. I became a parish priest here in December 2019, and there was no priest in residence for the previous 16 years. It is a large parish spread all over the countryside. It has 43 communities. This part of the country has been severely affected by ten years of drought, so life for most of the people here is tough.
Columban Fr. Frank Hoare gives 10 insightful tips to staying stress free during the Coronavirus pandemic. His stress-relief suggestions help find ways to look after ourselves mentally and emotionally during these trying times.
On the 15th March, a Sunday evening, the President of Peru declared a State of Emergency from the 16th, which meant none of us, except those with essential tasks to fulfill, can leave their homes until the 30th March. It was extended on Thursday 26th, for 13 days, and then on Wednesday 8th April the lockdown was further extended to the 26th April. The curfew now is from 6pm to 4am.
The fourth in the series of Columban Prayers for the World during this coronavirus pandemic, Columban Fr. Sean Conneely, working in Seoul, South Korea gives a blessing for all the nurses, doctors and volunteers caring for the sick during this pandemic.