AMERICA/CHILE - Religious congregations and dioceses provide homes and spaces for coronavirus patients

Thursday, 2 April 2020 coronavirus   religious institutes   local churches  

Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - "Chile and the world are experiencing a serious health reality. The global spread of Covid-19 has caused a painful number of victims and highlighted the needs and shortcomings of the various health systems. This is a problem that affects everyone and everyone can contribute so that this virus, which affects many brothers and sisters, does not continue to expand. We invite female and male congregations who have retreat houses and who believe they can make them available to the State, to send the list to the Ministry of Health and will be contacted to discuss the conditions of use". This is the request that Father Héctor Campos, OFM Cap., President of Conferre (Conference of Religious of Chile) and Sister Sara Romero MSsR, Executive Secretary, addressed to the Superiors of religious institutes, to members of the executive council, to coordinators of Chilean departments, commissions and diocesan centers.
According to the news sent to Fides, the Episcopal Conference will establish dialogue with the mayors and provincial directors of Health. According to the Ministry of Health, 2,738 positive coronavirus cases and 12 deaths were recorded on March 30 in Chile. In response to Conferre's appeal, the congregations that have made their homes available for the treatment of patients with Covid 19, in various Chilean locations, are: Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Clerics of San Viatore, Company of Jesus, Mercedari Missionaries, Congregation of the Sacred Hearts, Salesian Congregation, Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, Marist Brothers, Friars Minor (OFM).
The Archbishopric of Santiago has added 15 new ecclesial spaces to face the health crisis and to welcome the sick and people who live on the streets. To the four houses already offered to the authorities last week, the Archbishopric added two of its institutional buildings (Vicaría Esperanza Joven and Vicaria para la Educacion) and thirteen parish infrastructures, to collaborate with the government in the prevention and control of the crisis caused by the pandemic.
With an online blessing prayer, the Archbishop of Santiago, Mgr. Celestino Aós, also inaugurated the "We are with you" telephone service and video calls ("Estamos Contigo") which wants to listen and accompany people in the perspective of faith - not just Christians - who are going through difficult times because of the emergency caused by the coronavirus. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 2/4/2020)