Fraternal Greetings. Thank you for being united with us in prayers and fraternal communion. COVID-19 has peaked its hold in Italy in the last few days, and the Government has taken stringent measures to arrest its spread, which includes a complete shutdown all over Italy except for essential services. We do not go out of the house at all. All services of the receptionist used to do, the cleaning, and washing services are taken care of by us. Perhaps, we will have to take up cooking too in the next week. The whole country is united to fight the terror of the virus. The Claretians in Specialization (CIS) have classes online. The General Government continues its council sessions of March as usual.
The virus has now affected about 125 countries, and Italy is now at the top in the list of countries with newly affected cases. We hope it will come down in a week. The Church all over the world has joined hands in a prayer of intercession and adoration. In the past, the Church too faced historical moments of epidemics by caring for the sick people and their families and supporting health workers in all possible ways, especially by taking the concerns of the people in adoration to the Eucharistic Lord and to the Holy Mother by reciting the rosary.
In the last General Chapter, we affirmed our call to be “evangelizers with Spirit” who “pray and work, are socially committed as missionaries, and breathe with the lungs of prayer and intercession” (MS 23). This is a time for ardent prayer and intercession for the suffering world. I invite all the Major Organisms to choose a day for intercessory prayer in the coming week dedicating time for the adoration of the Eucharist and praying the rosary. The Church of Italy has identified a moment to pray together the rosary on the part of all faithful on 19th March at 9 in the evening, Rome time. We shall also invoke the intercession of St. Anthony Mary Claret, our Founder, and our brother martyrs.
Dear brothers, let us join hands, hearts, and minds with our brothers and sisters to address this moment of global distress.
Fr. Mathew Vattamattam CMF