Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The diocese of Doba, in Chad, has also seen schools, churches, public places and other gathering centers closed following the provisions issued to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. An important role in keeping the faith and relationships among members of the Catholic community is carried out by the diocesan radio "La Voix du Paisan" which offers religious broadcasts, the prayer of the rosary and the celebration of Mass. It also contributed to raising awareness among the population, especially those in rural areas, largely illiterate and marginalized, on health prevention measures. The management costs of the broadcaster for the diocese are high, especially in this period, since it is also necessary to provide for the support of pastoral workers, staff involved in the educational and health field, as with the closure of places of worship and the suspension of pastoral activities, the resources of the parishes, based solely on the offerings of the faithful, are practically non-existent.
Aid was sent to the diocese of Doba, as well as to many other dioceses of mission territories, from the Emergency Fund established by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) to support the churches of the mission countries in the face of the Covid-19 emergency (see Fides, 6/4/2020).
In Kenya, many dioceses have been severely affected by the isolation imposed by the authorities to curb the pandemic, and have asked for support from the PMS Fund to respond to the basic needs of families and weaker people, as well as supporting priests and religious who, following the suspension of masses and pastoral activities, have no means of support.
Nairobi, the capital of Kenya and the main center of business and commerce for the entire nation, was particularly affected by the isolation that caused unemployment and anxiety for the future.
The Archdiocese of Nairobi has become a source of hope and a place of refuge for many people, especially for the weakest and for families in difficulty and to the inhabitants of slums.
Despite the good response of Catholics to this emergency, there are still many needs to be answered.
Aid was also sent to the diocese of Nyahururu to purchase basic necessities for needy families. The diocese of Lodwar, which includes an area with a particularly inhospitable climate, had already experienced the flood disasters that had destroyed goods and people, before Covid-19 arrived. Now it needs to be helped to ensure the functioning of diocesan and parish activities, as well as assistance to families in need.
In the diocese of Kitale, where the majority of the population is unemployed and live in a state of poverty, the aid requested will be used to buy food to be distributed to children of poor families, to support educational and catechetical activities, for the supply of water and the purchase of hygiene material. The Bishop of Marsabit, one of the poorest dioceses in the country, also needs to buy goods for catechists and their families, for educational activities and for the diocesan radio program.
Other aid was sent by the PMS Fund to the dioceses of Kisumu for the purchase of food and basic necessities for the poor, to support pastoral activities and for the medical insurance of priests. The Archdiocese of Mombasa will also use aid for poor children and the orphanage, as well as to support priests. The diocese of Homa Bay is in particular difficulty to support the priests, houses of formation and the minor seminary of Rakwaro, as well as to ensure the functioning of the catechetical center and to help religious communities. The Apostolic Vicariate of Isiolo will also use aid from the PMS Emergency Fund to cover current expenses of diocesan institutions and to ensure the livelihood of the clergy and religious. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 27/6/2020)