QUILENGUES MISSION: STILL OPERATES EVEN WHEN COVID19’S RESTRICTIONS ARE LIFTEED
For us, the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Rosary, the year 2020 in Quilengues mission started just like any other year. We had a planning already done and we were with good spirit, hoping of course that God’s mercy and the Holy Spirit’s presence were with us all year long, so then all of our good purposes related to the mission would become true.
Surprised by the restrictions imposed by Coronavirus, our planning has not been cancelled, but it has changed its nature: We care more about inherent activities of the community, which have been embodied in:
- Restricted liturgical celebrations to the sisters and parishioners.
- Personal prayers, retreats and studies have been intensified.
- Production of cereals and vegetables increasement.
In relation to public health, besides of covid 19, we registered a significant outbreak of malaria, which unfortunately reached many families from all social classes, rich and poor, provoking many deaths, especially in children and teenagers between 0 and 15 years old. The situation seems to be very worrying, because for children having three days of fever provokes a terrible medical history of low hemoglobin, which forces the situation to go to blood banks, something that our hospital does not have. Finally, the patient unfortunately dies. To this situation, we must add the lack of enough health personnel for answering on time and efficiently to the cases we face every day. In addition, we do not have enough beds and rooms for taking patients in, which leads us to extreme situations, such as having two patients sharing a bed! Sisters, what do this represent in times where there is also this grave pandemic? This situation is very painful and embarrasing…
As we could not be outside this reality, out community was also affected by malaria. Two of our postulants were hospitalized, one of them even spent a month in intensive care. Fortunately, both recovered and came back to the community.
The state of public calamity allowed us some opening, giving us the possibility of developing catechism focus on sacraments for adults and youngsters, Eucharist celebration with the people and the formation of Dominican Missionary of the Rosary lays. Of course, all of these was developed following strictly protection’s specifications provided by the Ministry of Health.
In this moment and particularly in the way we have described here, our participation as Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Rosary has been to mobilize people, in the missionary neighbors, with people we work with and the communities that surround us for reaching and satisfying all the health standards, helping to prevent and limit the coronavirus’ spreading, which here in Angola as in everywhere is killing people.
From Quilengues, South of Angola:
Teresa Umba, Helena Kaluku and Bernarda Fastudo.