ASIA/KAZAKHSTAN - The "return of the missionary", priest and volunteer for the sick of Covid-19 in Poland

Saturday, 9 May 2020 coronavirus   healthcare   diseases   humanitarian assistance   voluntary work   prayer  

Bochnia (Agenzia Fides) - "I returned to my country to update my visa, but I was unable to return to Kazakhstan due to the closure of the borders for the containment of Covid-19. At the beginning I felt lost. I 'fought' with God asking him why he blocked me in a land full of priests like Poland, since in Atyrau there was more need of me. I absolutely wanted to go back to my parishioners, but now I know that God wanted to entrust me with a special mission: I came to know that in a village not far from mine they were looking for volunteers for a reception facility that had nobody, because the health personnel had been infected with the virus. I had no doubts: God was calling me to that service". This is the experience reported by Fr. Piotr Dydo-Rożniecki, Polish priest of the diocese of Tarnów and missionary in Atyrau, Kazakhstan, but currently serving in a reception facility for people with psychiatric diseases, in Bochnia, Poland, to Agenzia Fides.
The facility is currently in quarantine: in addition to 14 staff members, also 16 guests have tested positive for Covid-19. "At the moment, there are 29 people in the facility plus me, 8 Dominican nuns who responded to the appeal, a paramedic gives us a hand with the administration of the drugs and two students in their second year of nursing", explains Fr. Dydo-Rożniecki. "At the beginning - he explains - the situation was dramatic. We volunteers did not know each other and above all were strangers to patients. We had to learn everything from scratch", says the priest, who has been serving in the house since April 11. Inside the facility, the risk of infection is high, but the volunteers have everything they need to protect themselves, from face masks to gloves, from overalls to special glasses".
Fr. Piotr Dydo-Rożniecki has been a missionary in Atyrau since October 2019, but previously he had spent a year in the Kazakh town of Khromtau: "I miss my parish community and they also call me or write to me often. In this difficult time we pray for each other", he concludes. (LF-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 9/5/2020)