Wednesday, February 21, 2024

CULTURE | 02-04-2021 03:16

Careful against Covid, Catholics in Argentina celebrate Easter in the open air

Catholics celebrate Easter Mass in the open air, taking precautions against Covid-19.

Dozens of Catholics met in a parish courtyard in Buenos Aires on Thursday as they celebrated Easter Mass, taking extra precautions amid a coronavirus surge.

At the Santuario de la Madre tres veces Admirable ("Shrine of the Mother Thrice Admirable") in Schoenstatt, a priest led the group Mass before performing the traditional foot-washing ceremony.

"There are many people who come here. For tomorrow and the day after [Friday and Saturday] we asked for authorisation from the government to block off the street because everyone can't enter here, it is impossible. That is why we made a stage so that those outside can see," Sister Yolanda, explained to AFP.

The nun was ecstatic to have an "alive" service this year, as she described it, that was "unlike last year, which was a closed Easter."

Estela Fernández, who lives in the northeatern province of Chaco but is currently in Buenos Aires to visit her children, said she was putting herself in God's hands by attending Mass.

"Our life is in the hands of God. We can die infected or by a heart attack, it is not in our hands. Yes, be responsible and take care of ourselves, but the one who makes the final decision is He," he says.

Nearby, Walter Romero, also from Chaco, took Communion.

"For me it is communion, all brothers receiving the body of Christ that, due to the pandemic, we could not do it. Although, virtually, in some way Christ was in us. It is a very great joy to be able to do it after so long," he said.

Argentina is going through a second coronavirus pandemic wave. On Wednesday there were 16,056 infections, 7,000 more than a week before and the highest level since October 21, 2020, when they 18,326 cases were recorded in one day. 

Over the last 24 hours, 83 deaths and 14,430 new cases have been recorded in Argentina. To date, infections total 2.36 million, with around 56,000 fatalities.


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