Kathmandu (Agenzia Fides) - Observe all necessary precautions and pray intensely: this is the invitation of Bishop Paul Simick, Apostolic Vicar of Nepal, addressed to Catholic priests, men and women religious and laity as the country faces the second wave of Covid-19 infections. According to information from Agenzia Fides, the Bishop has called a special day of prayer for the end of the pandemic for next May 31. "We are well aware of the devastating second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected the entire world, including Nepal. In recent weeks, Nepal has witnessed a sudden increase in the number of new infections and deaths", writes the Bishop in a pastoral letter sent to Fides. In fact, in May, health authorities registered days (such as May 13) in which more than 9,000 new cases and 54 deaths were confirmed.
According to the Ministry of Health, this is the highest number of infections in a single day since the pandemic began. "In these moments of fear, anguish, panic and pain caused by the rapid spread of Covid-19 infections, as Christians we turn to our Good Shepherd, who is our stronghold and refuge: as the Psalm says, 'Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life' (Psalm 23.6), reads the text of the letter. The Bishop has urged all communities to join the special day of prayer and fasting on May 31, the feast of the visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary: all the faithful of the Vicariate will unite in spiritual communion to ask, through the intercession of the Virgin, protection against the Covid-19 pandemic. On that day, priests, religious and all the lay faithful who can do so, will spend at least one hour in Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, reading and meditating passages from the Gospel, praying the Rosary and raising spontaneous prayers to God for the end of the pandemic. During the day it will be possible to participate in the Eucharist, in the recitation of the Rosary, in a special prayer to Divine Mercy.
Each community, parish or association will organize its own internal prayer service, while everyone is invited to organize online services and links so that those who cannot participate can do so at least remotely. "We seek refuge under the protection of Our Mother Mary, we invoke health for the sick, we ask the Patroness of our Vicariate that, with her powerful intercession, we can free ourselves from this deadly virus", said Mgr. Simick. Nepal has 28 million people and the Catholic faithful are about 8,000, divided into 16 parishes of the Apostolic Vicariate. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 18/5/2021)