Covid-19 seriously affects Malawi;
even the Church is affected
Lilongwe (Agenzia Fides) - The pastoral office of the Archdiocese of Blantyre has canceled the celebrations of the Day of Consecrated Life and of the Pontifical Missionary Union at the archdiocesan level scheduled for February , to comply with the directives of the Ministry of Health which has banned mass gatherings due to the sharp increase in Covid-19 cases in the country.
In a press release signed by the Pastoral Coordinator of the Archdiocese of Lilongwe, Fr. James Mkwezalamba, says this year's celebrations were suspended immediately due to the current impact of Covid-19 on the country.
According to the press release, a new date will be announced later through the Office of the Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies.
Within the Archdiocese of Lilongwe, Fr. Innocent Mtapaonga, Parish priest of the parish of Chitedze, in his speech during the burial ceremony of Fr. Chipalamwazani said that it is important to honor the celebration of Missionary Union Day in several parishes, as it enlightens and sensitizes pastoral operators to the need for unity while serving the Church and to ensure cooperation in promoting missionary awareness through the four Pontifical Mission Societies.
"Every year, on February 2, we meet to celebrate Consecrated Life and the Pontifical Missionary Union as a diocese, but this year we will not do so because of the Covid-19 pandemic which has caused the death of our beloved brothers and sisters, including priests and nuns", said Fr. Mtapaonga.
"After being relatively spared from the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Malawi is now facing a new and rapid wave of the disease which is rapidly sweeping the health system", says Doctors Without Borders. "In the first weeks of January 2021, the number of proven cases of the disease has doubled every four or five days while local capacity is already saturated, access to vaccines is only likely within a few months".
Among the victims there is also Italian missionary Fr. Giuseppe Giannini, known as Pino, a Comboni missionary present for nearly 40 years in Malawi, who would have celebrated his 74th birthday in a few days.