AFRICA/TOGO - Covid-19: reopening of some parishes on an experimental basis; the contribution of the special fund of the PMS arrives

Friday, 10 July 2020 coronavirus   local churches   healthcare  


Kolowaré (Agenzia Fides) - The small Church in Togo tries to recover from the isolation caused by Covid-19 and the consequent difficulties that have exacerbated the already precarious conditions of the country. "We are trying to reopen our churches – writes to Agenzia Fides Father Silvano Galli, a priest of the Society for African Missions, missionary in St Léon IX parish in the mission of Kolowarè.
"On July 7, 2020, the Togolese Bishops' Conference released the news that, on an experimental basis, some churches could be opened in each prefecture, but no certain date has yet been communicated. Our parish of Kolowaré is included in the prefecture of Tchaoudjo", explains the missionary. "Every day, together with Father Federico diocesan parish priest of Sokodè cathedral for 17 years in the 80s and currently parish priest in Kolowaré, we celebrate Mass at the nuns of Our Lady of the Apostles".
"Just a few days ago - continues Fr. Galli - the treasurer of the diocese of Sokodé, Abbé Grégoire Tatoa passed by to deliver a contribution from Mgr. Celestin Gaoua, Bishop of Sokodé, received as a 'contribution to tackle the pandemic' through the Emergency Fund established by Pope Francis at the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) to support the Churches of mission countries in the face of the Covid-19 emergency (See Fides, 6/7/2020). Since last March, with the churches closed, no gatherings, no catechesis, prayer groups, sacraments, the parish has had no way of collecting money, apart from a previous intervention of assistance from the Bishop. This second contribution was made to all the parishes of the diocese", he points out.
"Parish Caritas has also tried to be close to the most vulnerable through the basic ecclesial communities (CEB), identifying in particular needy families in the five communities present in Kolowarè. Everyone was given a food parcel"
As for the pandemic Fr. Galli concluded by saying that "the state of emergency has been prolonged for another 45 days, until mid-August. As of July 8, 2020, fifteen people have died from the pandemic, 695 people were tested positive and 475 people recovered" (SG/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 10/7/2020)