AFRICA/IVORY COAST - The pastoral ministry of the deaf and partially sighted in the diocese of Yopougon in the face of challenges due to Covid-19

Monday, 25 May 2020 local churches   coronavirus   solidarity  

Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) - "With social confinement, we have not really been able to carry out our pastoral care as we thought it appropriate, but we have always been in contact with our people", said Fr. Roland Malan Kouakou, diocesan chaplain for the deaf and partially sighted in Yopougon, in the north of Abidjan.
"The situation caused by Covid-19 is very hard for the people we assist", says Fr. Kouakou. "For example, a blind person always needs a guide, but because of the social distancing we have asked them to stay home without assistance. Those who have hearing problems cannot live the Eucharistic celebrations broadcast by the media and all of this is currently a real problem for our pastoral care", says the chaplain, who howeve appreciates the proximity and telephone calls that continue to be carried out between him and his spiritual sons and daughters, always respecting the measures against Covid-19.
In the face of the current situation, "on Sunday we send them telephone messages or call them to share a short homily", he adds.
Created in the pastoral year 2018-2019, in the diocese of Yopougon, by the will of the Bishop, His Exc. Mgr. Jean Salomon Lezoutié, the diocesan chaplaincy of the blind and deaf which includes the partially sighted, the blind, people with hearing and deaf-mute problems, is a pastoral ministry that fits into the vast field of pastoral care for the sick and people with disabilities to allow them to live their Christian faith and promote their spiritual, moral, material and intellectual well-being.
The chaplaincy organizes spiritual retreats, Braille catechesis courses for the blind and sign language for the deaf, to promote their integration into the Church; and apprenticeship courses to encourage their insertion into the social and economic fabric. (S.S.) (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 25/5/2020)