The health emergency due to the coronavirus has now reached all continents.
The Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) of Spain have collected the testimony of some missionaries who have redoubled their commitment, worried about the consequences that the pandemic will have on many poor people who live on the streets or who eat only thanks to small daily jobs.
“With this situation due to the coronavirus, poverty has worsened, there’s nothing to eat”, explains missionary Domingo García Hospital, an OCSHA priest, from Peru.
In Piura, where he lives, the vast majority of the population survives on day-to-day informal work. In the parish women run five “common pots”, in which they cook what they manage to collect, for all families.
In Lurín, the Little Sisters of the Poor take care of 35 poor elders in a reception house. María Henar González stresses that the elderly are the population most at risk, and at the moment they are also isolated, following the indications of the government.
“We live on alms: the sisters usually go out to seek help. Now that we cannot go, let us fully trust in the Providence of God”, she explains.
In Brazil, in the diocese of Bacabal, the diocesan priest of Getafe (Spain), Father Alberto Íñigo Ruano, joins in prayer through social networks with the people of his parish for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Rosary and the Mass.
“Every week I go out with the Monstrance in the streets of the city and communities. Families who want to receive the blessing come out to the front door with a lighted candle in their hand”, he says.
In Chile another Spanish priest, Father Álvaro Chordi, ADSIS missionary in Santiago de Chile, promoted a campaign in the parish of San Saturnino to help immigrants and homeless people in these moments of quarantine.
“Before the start of the quarantine, we distributed food enough to last for several days. In addition, the parish is open 4 hours a day so that the poor can use the toilets”.
In Africa, in northern Chad, the Samburu tribe knows little about the virus. The Colombian-born missionary of Yarumal, Luis Carlos Fernández, is visiting all the communities to warn them and explain the importance of washing their hands.
“Schools have closed and now the markets are closing. Hunger, which is what kills most people in the world, will be more deadly than the coronavirus”, he explains.
In Cameroon, Xaverian missionary Navarro Ángel de la Victoria writes in his blog that although schools have closed, people continue their normal life: many because they don’t know or don’t believe in the seriousness of the virus,;many others because they live on small day jobs.
From Mozambique, the Somascan missionary Carlos Moratilla applied precautionary measures in the house he runs where he welcomes street children and has joined the prayer of the whole Church: “We made a procession and a rosary with the statue of the Virgin of Fatima and we prayed for all those involved and affected by the disease”.
The PMS of Spain invite everyone to live this time in a missionary way by offering on their website food for thought, reflection and entertainment for children and adults.