Christ is not in quarantine in Albania

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On April 27th, there was celebrated the feast day of the Patroness of Albania, Our Lady of Good Counsel whose image was always on the desk of our father St. Alphonsus. There have been no celebrations in the churches since March 12, but the faithful preserve and cultivate their faith, especially the family rosary. Since the beginning of the quarantine, every day of the week the bishop prays the rosary on Radio Maria, in the evening, and many celebrations are broadcast on the internet. We celebrate in the two main parishes and a cloistered monastery, attending to the religious communities that are within the mission.

We cannot forget that the Albanian people suffered an atheistic-communist dictatorship that did not allow worship. For our elders, this situation is easier to face because they already know how to keep the faith when it is not possible to go to church or to meet a priest. Firm in their faith in Christ, every evening the families light candles, pray together and bless the bread. A family with many children decided to make a living Way of the Cross on Good Friday in the garden of their house, to celebrate the Death of Jesus. Creativity is not lacking among young people. They all feel the need for Christ, but they are also aware that He never abandons us.

We have discovered that people need us, and that is why during Holy Week we have gone out to bless, pray, and bring Holy Communion. Luckily the Albanian families have a big garden at the entrance of their house, and we could have a little prayer to avoid the risk of contagion. We have also been able to help the poorest, who are multiplying these days, especially since we suffered several earthquakes a few months ago. At the end of April, there are more than 700 infected and 30 dead. But we have hope that soon God will open these new tombs again, and lead us to new Life.

Atë Laureano Del Otero C.Ss.R., Albania

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