Visit to Liberia
10 – 14 March 2016
The Superior General Brother Jesús Etayo, accompanied by Brothers Pascal Ahodegnon and Moisés Martín, has just been to Monrovia (Liberia) to visit, accompany and pay homage to the Hospitaller Family of St Joseph’s Catholic hospital, for all the suffering they had to endure in the Ebola emergency and crisis, and to reaffirm that the spirit of the Institution is to remain close by the side of vulnerable and suffering people, because this is “our way of being Church, by staying close to the sick”.
On Saturday 11 March, Mass was celebrated in the Hospital, in honour of the Patron of the Hospitaller Order, Saint John of God, and the Patron of the Hospital, Saint Joseph, under whose protection we continue accompanying our guests in the service of mercy on behalf of the Liberian people.
He also wished to perpetuate the memory of our Brothers, Sister and Co-workers who died during the Ebola outbreak, by erecting a monument that was inaugurated and blessed at the end of the Eucharistic celebration.
On the visit to the consulting rooms in the New Kru Town Hospital we were told of another area affected by the lack of primary health care services, and the work being done through this community service to move forward improving and developing it.
The Superior General and his companions went to meet the Hospital Director, the Provincial Superior, and Juan Ciudad ONGD, to share all the International Cooperation work being performed by the Hospital and the scope of its mission, and to thank them and encourage to pursue this work and their coordination.
A meeting was also held with the Hospital Management Team after visiting all the facilities at the Centre. Prior to the meeting, and after Mass, the visitors went with all the members of the Community to the cemetery where the remains of Sister Chantal and Brother George rest, and where another monument stands in remembrance of Brothers Miguel and Patrick and our Co-workers who died during the Ebola epidemic.
The delegation made a number of visits outside the Catholic Hospital facilities. One was a mission set up in 2003 to provide a home for 50 orphans being cared for by a group of lay Franciscans who also have a school for 400 children. The Brothers often meet them and share donations which are given to them in containers, and to the Apostolic Nuncio who was living close by, and in contact with the General Curia and the Centre throughout the whole of the Ebola emergency.