If you have any doubt on the emotional toll that coronavirus (COVID-19) has taken on the people of Rome, try taking a walk, said Father Greg Apparcel, CSP.
“People are afraid,” admitted the Paulist priest and rector of St. Patrick’s Catholic American Church near the heart of the Eternal City. “When I walk on the sidewalk, some people move to the street to avoid me. Many people wear masks. I don’t know where they buy them because the stores don’t have them or Purell anymore.”
And when he or any of his parish staff go out to a store for food or to the pharmacy for medicine, “we have to carry with us an Auto Certification stating that we know the risk of being exposed to the virus and we take that responsibility. At the church, we are not allowed to celebrate public Masses, as is now the case in Los Angeles, but we have been asked to open our church each day for public prayer.”