In a recent letter to Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, Bishop Virginio Bressanelli, SCJ, former superior general, and now retired bishop of Neuquén, Argentina, shared a bit about what he has been doing in the midst of the pandemic.
“For us, the quarantine is taking too long, more than seven months,” wrote Bishop Virginio. “Officially we started it here in Chaco on March 13, and it is still in progress. Such a long quarantine has resulted in a lot of economic damage and psychological disadvantages in many people. During the first five months the country in its entirety came to a standstill. In this situation, poverty has grown enormously. People who had precarious jobs ended up losing any job opportunities. Furthermore, we have had a drought up to now, which has brought problems to agriculture and everything that depends largely on the climate.
“Despite the many restrictions imposed by the pandemic protocol, we are trying to be very active pastorally. We had to resort to information technology (internet, WhatsApp, Facebook, Youtube, etc…) to reach people with a message every day, to broadcast Mass online, to hold virtual meetings, and to keep in touch with the faithful constantly. We think that the positive side of the pandemic has been that it has forced us to seek out new means of communication for the proclamation of the Gospel.
“Since the beginning of the year, at the request of SCJ superiors, I have been accompanying young people who are discerning a vocation to our Congregation. I do this very willingly. Few young people are determined to abandon everything for Christ. We, elderly priests, find it very difficult to find new ways of youth animation and vocation promotion, but we are working, trying to do the best possible.”
The bishop sends his greetings and warm wishes to the US Province. Fr. Tom was a member of the General Council during Bishop Virginio’s administration.
Let the Priests of the Sacred Heart pray for your loved ones and intentions.