Letters & Opinion

Archbishop Robert Rivas Calls on Faithful to Support New COVID-19 Measures

My dear sisters and brothers, once more we are called to attention in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The roller coaster continues. Today we are here and tomorrow we are there and it is not very easy for us with these constant changes, but this is not something that is only happening in Saint Lucia. These are measures that are being taken in various countries around the world today in trying to manage this coronavirus pandemic, so I am here to appeal to you. Please, don’t react negatively to the call for new measures for the next ten days beginning on Friday (yesterday).

Image of Archbishop Robert Rivas
Archbishop Robert Rivas

There are things that probably you don’t like about the measures that are being taken. I have heard very strong language used in respect to measures taken to counteract this COVID-19 pandemic but my sisters and brothers we have to support the Ministry of Health, we have to support the government.

The new measures are for our good, they are not simply an imposition upon us so I ask you to understand what the new measures are. We are told that for church services that only 25 people will be allowed for the next ten days. This puts pressure on our parishes especially to get the information out to you and to work out a way in which we can take in a measured number like this 25, which includes the priest, and if there is an assisting deacon and an acolyte.

So we have to know how to use what is available in the most effective way possible for our liturgy and our celebrations. And then for baptisms, weddings, funerals and other special sacramental celebrations in the church we are only allowed 10 people so if ten is the number, ten is the number. In the early days it was like that, so don’t make a fuss over it, comply. Let us support what has to be done so that in this way we can ensure our own good health and the safety of other people’s health.

We are our sister’s and our brother’s keeper and we have to act responsibly. I noticed that there are other measures taken, for instance no alcohol being sold for 21 days, business places having to close by 9:00 p.m. These are restrictions and you know everybody is trying to make a little to survive and then we too need employment and the church needs resources so that we can continue to function, pay our bills, because the bills haven’t stopped coming and our staff need to get their pay. And so we will also be needing your support in all this but the important thing is to follow the measures, the protocols.

I plead with you, please listen to what the new measures are and let us all try our best to support what is expected of us and to act responsibly. Now is the time to do it and in the meantime I ask you to pray. Pray that a vaccine will reach all our islands in the Caribbean as soon as possible and pray that this new strain of the virus will not come our way. This little invisible enemy is taking its toll but we cannot allow it to defeat us. I thank you for your collaboration, for your support and for following the protocols.

Please wherever you go make sure you have your mask with you and wear your mask at church, wear your mask at work, wear your mask when you go to the supermarket and you know in the supermarkets they have signs ‘don’t touch’. We are dealing with food and when you touch things and you leave it there then somebody else comes and they buy it, you know try not to touch things. We are in different times now take what you need and try to do as little touching as possible and keep washing your hands and sanitizing with sanitizer and do all that is necessary and teach your children to do the same and our elderly at home, teach them as well how to comply with the protocols. We have to take on this fight together, this challenge of COVID-19.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *