Santa Cruz (Agenzia Fides) - "This season of Lent must be a time to transform our existence, our way of life more than anything else", urged Msgr. René Leigue, Archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in his Sunday homily, inviting us to seek and find the Lord. He then asked us not to wait for others to do what I have to do, because our society needs to be transformed, it needs so many changes, and we are just sitting there waiting for someone to start, when we are all called to transform something in society".
The Archbishop was inspired by a concrete reality, under everyone's eyes: many complain that our city of Santa Cruz is very dirty, so "why not do something about it? Why not commit to cleaning it, transforming it, making it look different…? The Lord calls us to make something really noticeable in ourselves, as people of faith, as believers, as Catholics, as people who believe in this God, the God of life, the God who loves us. For this love, let us do something different, the Lord invites us in this time of Lent to transform things that we see and which are not right".
Healthcare is another area where a change of pace is needed, particularly with regard to the dengue epidemic.
Monsignor Leigue recalled that complaints about dengue disease are heard, yet "the people, the authorities who are called upon to do something, seem not to consider that it is a serious problem. Children continue to suffer, continue to die. Families are worried, even the elderly are suffering and losing their lives".
The Archbishop, after recalling that he had gone to Santa Rosa the day before to pay his last respects to a priest from Cotoca who had died of this disease, underlined that "we do not have the capacity to look at our reality, to be sensitive to this reality that we live, to human beings who are suffering" and commented: "we all need to feel good, we all need to be in good health, but this is not happening". And he added: "perhaps something is being done, we cannot deny it, but I believe that much more can be done".
Finally, he reiterated his appeal to all citizens and authorities to work really seriously, so that we can all feel that we are fighting together, because "health is life, we want life, we fight for a good life, a better life". "May the Lord help us, give us the strength we need to face the problems we experience every day".
According to information collected by Fides, the Minister of Health, Jeyson Auza, in his latest weekly report yesterday, March 6, said that in the ninth week of the year, 1,020 cases of Covid-19 were registered nationwide, about 203 more infections than in the previous seven days, representing an increase of 40%. Since the arrival of the pandemic in March 2020, Bolivia has recorded 22,365 deaths and 1,193,970 confirmed cases, of which 12,297 remain active. The dengue epidemic, one of the strongest in recent years, has claimed 39 lives and 12,495 confirmed cases since the start of the rainy season. The departments where the disease broke out are Santa Cruz (9,119), Beni (1,315), Tarija (1,211), La Paz (373), Chuquisaca (247), Cochabamba (142) and Pando (88). (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 7/3/2023)