AMERICA/CHILE - "A gesture of solidarity, at the foot of the Manger": in times of pandemic it is necessary to redouble efforts

Friday, 18 December 2020 coronavirus   poverty   local churches   caritas  

Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - Since the beginning of the pandemic, Chilean dioceses and parishes have worked to alleviate the suffering of the population, especially the poorest and most forgotten, with various initiatives, which increase in view of Christmas.
The note from the Chilean Bishops' Conference, sent to Fides, among the activities of this period, notes that the diocese of Valparaiso is trying to achieve this objective with the campaign: "No one is saved alone. Together we multiply solidarity", especially in these long months of difficulty.
In addition, it has promoted the Christmas Campaign with the slogan: "A gesture of solidarity, at the foot of theManger", that is born from the example of several parishes that in previous years in this period, collected aid to help the brothers and sisters who need it most. With the funds raised in the campaign, parishes that are carrying out solidarity initiatives will be supported.
Deacon Leonardo Córdova, Director of Caritas Valparaiso, reminds us that "with the generous contribution of all we can ensure that this Christmas each family of our diocese can bring to their table a worthy dinner to wait for the Child Jesus who comes to renew our hope" . Many parishes, as in the past, are already carrying out their Christmas campaigns.
However, in times of pandemic, efforts need to be redoubled so that more brothers and sisters can have a nice Christmas dinner.
The pandemic will certainly not be an impediment for young people and families to experience "a Christmas on the street" this year. The Vicariate for Education has in fact asked the volunteers to participate in this celebration in a different way than in previous years. The traditional visit of volunteers to hospitals, hospices and nursing homes on December 24 will not be possible due to the health measures established due to the pandemic. For this reason, the Vicar invites this year to live the experience by bringing food to support Christmas dinners or lunches in some places in Santiago. Volunteers who want to participate this year must register in advance, indicating the type of donation they will make. The delivery date will be from December 15 to 22, at the Vicariate headquarters, from where delivery to the various places will be coordinated.
The second way to be part of "Christmas on the Street" is in the neighborhood. The Vicariate invites people to go out on December 24 to share some gesture of solidarity and closeness with people: "Look at people in their dignity, ask what that person needs, recognize them as the face of Jesus", says Ginés Alvarado, in charge of the initiative. A guide has been prepared and disseminated with health recommendations to be observed so that everyone can share these gestures of fraternity in complete safety. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 18/12/2020)