Freetown (Agenzia Fides) - "Obliged by our pastoral responsibility, we collaborate with the government of Sierra Leone in the effort to raise awareness of the danger of the Ebola virus and how to prevent it from spreading", write the missionaries of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects that work in Sierra Leone, one of the states hardest hit by the epidemic of Ebola.
There are seven Recollects who have decided to stay in mission despite the risks. There are four Filipinos and three Spanish who work in two parishes in Makeni. Three other Filipino missionaries who are at home for a rest period cannot go back to Sierra Leone because it is prohibited to travel to Countries at risk.
"They take care of the people, they administer the sacraments, preside over the daily prayer with the faithful. This is what we call the apostolate of presence so that people do not feel abandoned. Those who have been affected by the virus feel accompanied, they highlight the fact that the Church suffers with them, that the Church works for them", said Fr. Lauro Larlar, Provincial of the Order for the Philippines.
The last toll of the epidemic is 1,350 deaths in West Africa (Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 21/08/2014)