The Missio community recently joined together online to hear first hand from two missionaries about how they are living with the current pandemic.
‘Mission under the shadow of Covid-19’ has been part of Missio’s response to the call from the Holy Father to support those in greatest need through prayer and fundraising.
For resources from the event, please see below
Over 60 from our community of Local Secretaries and other volunteers, Red Box holders, Appealers, Diocesan Directors and Missio staff came together for an update on the current work being undertaken around the world by Missio, given by the National Director, Fr Anthony Chantry.
Fr Basil Rohan, National Director of Missio in Sri Lanka and Fr Francis Makuba MHM, a Mill Hill Missionary and parish priest in Nairobi, Kenya then gave us their view of how the pandemic is affecting their respective societies and how, with the money raised by Missio, they are supporting their communities.
You can watch videos of the inputs given by the three priests below.
‘A lot of people in many countries live day-to-day. They have no savings & receive little social help. When everything is in lockdown, families go hungry. There is more suffering from the lockdown, than the virus itself’
—Fr Anthony Chantry, Missio National Director for England and Wales
‘With the support of Missio England & Wales, we have been able to buy 10 days of dry rations which fed around 60 priests, over 100 Sisters & over 350 lay leaders + their families. We are so grateful’
—Fr Basil Rohan, Missio National Director for Sri Lanka
‘7 out of 10 Kenyans have lost their jobs. There has been an increase in violence; many families are unable to eat – no money, no food… the lockdown has been quite suffocating for a number of people.’
—Fr Francis Makuba MHM, Parish Priest in Shauri Moyo, Nairobi, Kenya
One important aspect of these Mission Animations was the chance for the Missio community to come together in prayer and to share their own concerns, hopes and practical questions and suggestions.
Participants were placed into smaller groups to meet each other virtually and reflected on what they had heard from Fr Basil & Fr Francis.
‘What strength our sisters and brothers must have! And see how they share what little they have. It makes us humble.’
‘Hearing and seeing Fr Basil & Fr Francis live has helped me feel even more connected to Missio and those who we are supporting overseas.’
The smaller groups were brought back into the main group to ask any questions to the speakers. One Local Secretary asked how both Fr Basil & Fr Francis were looking after themselves as well as those in their communities.
Both welcomed the opportunity to consider how they have been coping, with Fr Basil reflecting on how ‘knowing that they are supported in prayer and thought’ from Missio was of great comfort to him. Fr Francis reflected on the importance of community, both globally and in his own parish.
After a closing prayer and blessing participants were invited to either leave the meeting or join a separate group with their Regional Community Fundraiser where they could ask practical questions and make suggestions. For a summary of the conversations, please see the attachment below.