The Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, His Grace, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, says the Church is mobilising to distribute palliatives to vulnerable and less privileged Nigerians to cushion the effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic lockdown.
Flagging off the first phase in Abuja on Saturday, Kaigama said “we are in difficult times”, but hoped that the palliatives would go a long way to relieve the hardship and suffering of the people.
He assured that the palliative would be used to support rural parishes, prisons and orphanage homes during the lockdown.
Kaigama expressed optimism the government would send something tangible to the Church to support the vulnerable and less privileged.
The Cardinal charged well meaning Nigerians and organisations to intensify efforts in reaching out to the poor around them as it would go a long way to alleviate sufferings at this critical time.
”These palliatives that will be going out is not about tribe, religion, age, gender or class, rather it is for humanity; so let’s do the best we can from our hearts.
”What we are going to be giving out today was donated by the people of God in the Church and not from the government.
“We are still optimistic that government will reach out with some relief, as we have not received anything from the government yet,” he said.
The Archbishop noted that the world is “fighting a war but a very different kind of war and it’s no deceit, it is very real and it will cripple us in many ways.
”You can see how our social lives are crumbling, the economy is degenerating and religious gatherings are now impossible, there are going to be consequences, so we must all be part of this war.
”We must understand it and protect ourselves, let us move forward with faith, trust, hope and confidence that we can overcome COVID-19 pandemic.
”Let no one deceive himself or herself. Coronavirus is real and is a threat to humanity and everything we stand for,” he warned.
Mrs Mary Imaezue, the President, Catholic Women Organisation Abuja Archdiocese (CWOAA) said the association raised N4 million to assist indigent and vulnerable members of the organisation.
She said that the association felt the pains of her members and wished to offer some palliative measures to help the indigent members, especially in Parishes in more vulnerable areas because of their peculiarities.
Imaezue said the organisation would contribute the sum of N500,000 to the project and appealed to Catholic faithful, spirited individuals and parishes which were yet to assist their needy members to key into to the project.
Earlier, Imaezue had directed all CWOs at Parish levels to reach out to their vulnerable and indigent members in kind and cash as palliative measures.
She assured that the CWOAA would work with Parish CWO Presidents to ensure equitable distribution of palliative items to deserving members.