AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - A musician 'trapped' in the body of a nurse: Father Camorani between missionary work and healthcare

Thursday, 16 February 2023


Monassao (Agenzia Fides) - "Here, in my small, modest, but dignified village hospital, the care of the body and the care of the soul come together", writes to Fides Father Davide Camorani, who arrived in Central Africa on September 21, 2021 in the mission of Monassao, diocese of Berberati (see Fides, 17/10/2021). "Here, although I am not a crowd pleaser or a talented speaker, I manage to be a priest, a nurse, a doctor. Somehow I discovered myself somewhat in the attitude of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus when, in a famous passage in the 'Story of a soul' says she cannot find her place in the Church because she feels she is neither an apostle, nor a prophet, nor a miracle worker, and in the end she discovers that her role, her calling, is to be love. Being here I discovered, after so many questions about what I was going to do and what I was going to become, that the secret lies in doing one's work with love, that is, paying attention to the person and not just the disease".
"In the parish of Monassao, where I am, among the Pygmies, who are called Bayaka here, there are many facilities, thanks to the work of those who were already here before me. One of the most important is definitely the small territorial hospital that has become my responsibility. Thanks to my degree, I was able to grow in level, going from "Poste de Santé" to "Centre de Santé," thanks to the presence, as they say here, of qualified personnel, i.e. graduates. Healthcare work occupies a large part of my time. The most significant part of my work, the part that puts me in daily contact with people and also allows me to accompany staff more closely, not giving orders but working alongside them, sees me engaged above all in improving the quality of service, creating tools, organizing work, empowering staff so that they learn to work in an orderly and methodical way. These are all things that, in our nursing education, were instilled in us from the very beginning and have become part, not only of my way of working, but also of my way of thinking. The other aspect is direct care and nursing. Here the doctor is a rare beast found only in the larger hospitals," highlights Father David.
"Diagnosis and prescription are entrusted to roughly trained staff and, in some luckier cases, a registered nurse, which is already a lot by the country's standards.
"Once someone asked me whether I felt more like a nurse or more of a musician, I replied that I am a musician trapped in the body of a nurse," concludes the priest of the Society for African Missions. Now I am a musician, nurse and priest, in a single body, in which these three aspects of my person blend harmoniously." (DC) (Agenzia Fides, 16/2/2023)