Brothers and Postulants at Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Overview and news of the communities, schools, Brothers and laity of the Mennaisian Family. Here is another series of testimonies received.
+ ASIA. All schools are closed and the Brothers organise themselves differently
«I am currently, this Saturday, 21st March, in Japan for a visit that will last until Tuesday, 24th March . I hope to be able to return to Manila that day!
Here in Asia the situations are diverse but unlike China or South Korea, our countries had been little concerned until now! This is gaining in intensity and speed over the days.
+ INDONESIA. Closed schools and communities are organising themselves
In Indonesia, the number of cases is officially not very high (369) compared to the number of inhabitants and already several deaths are reported. Schools and universities have been closed in Yogyakarta for a week.
The student Brothers and the aspirants stay in the Community to work through the Internet. The community now comes out less, the sport is practiced at home!
In Larantuka, the School has been operating until now but will close like all the others next week by order of the political and administrative authorities. There are currently no containment measures in Indonesia, but the borders are gradually closing.
You can easily imagine the complexity of the problem for a country made up of more than 10,000 islands!
+ PHILIPPINES. No examinations this year and courses by internet
In the Philippines, until now it has been the metropolis of Manila that was mainly targeted by measures to isolate it from the rest of the country.
Schools and universities have been closed for 2 weeks and in the rest of the country since 16th March (San José and Pandan). The final examinations and graduations will not take place this year and the management teams are trying to organise the closing of the current school year.
Masses and celebrations have been cancelled since 13th March in Manila. Inside, situations vary from place to place but also go towards more restrictions.
Curfew is imposed in Manila and in many cities in the evening from 8pm to 5 in the morning and very restricted traffic, which has at least as a positive aspect to greatly reduce air and noise pollution!
Our scholastics who follow an intensive training in English have their courses organised on the internet and therefore continue to work in this way.
In San José, our pre-applicant also works on courses and research on the internet.
+ JAPAN. Likely delay of the school year
In Japan, the virus is also progressing but at a still contained pace.
Schools and universities have been closed for about two weeks, but this also coincides with the end-of-school holidays here. It is likely that the start of the new school year in April (2020-2021) will be postponed.
For the rest, life goes on taking more precautions: the parish organises a single Mass on Sundays for example!
Our brothers in the community remain wisely in the community for the older ones or at least avoid going out too much! The question in Japan is obviously the postponement or not of the next Olympic Games scheduled for next August!
Briefly, an increase of the Covid 19 in all our Asian countries and measures that are gradually being added to each other.
Schools are all closed now.
Communities organise daily life according to restrictions. Everyone also tries to remain calm and to pray in an unprecedented context, the outcome of which is for the moment uncertain. Fortunately thanks to the Internet and the telephone we remain in contact with each other and even more by prayer!
Bro Gildas Prigent, Brother Visitor Saint François Xavier District
+ ENGLAND. A musical creation by Bro James to listen to here
«Here in Liverpool, we said “Goodbye!” to our French colleague, Bro Jacques Jouvance, who returned to France two days ago after discussion with the other Brothers of the community, who are fine.
The British government finally closed schools on Friday, with a plan for some schools to remain open to accommodate the children of essential workers.
Bro James is part of a group of Catholics engaged in social networks (men and women religious, priests, lay people) who respond to Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 call to «evangelize the digital continent».
In addition to contributing to discussions on Twitter and Facebook and publishing on his blog, Bro James now starts recording at home singing and playing guitar pop songs praise and hymns at the request of his interlocutors.
This is the first of these songs, «My Lighthouse», written by a group of Christian musicians from Northern Ireland, Rend Collective.”
It is the favourite Christian song of the students of St. Francis Xavier’s College, Liverpool
Here is another song with meditation
Bro James Hayes,
Assistant Provincial France-England + School Chaplain
De La Mennais Brothers
St. Francis Xavier’s Community
POLYNESIA. Marquises. Students have gone back to their islands
«The CED St. Joseph School in Taiohae aux Marquises has stopped classes since noon on Wednesday, 18th March.
The boarders of the Southern islands left this morning to join Hiva Oa. (14 interns)
Last I heard, the students from Tahuata will be taking the boat at noon at 1:30 p.m.
The school will be closed according to territorial guidelines and will normally reopen on April 6, if no new instructions are given.
Young people will make sure to get out as little as possible so as not to put themselves in danger of contamination in contact with any other person who may arrive from the outside on your island.
Thank you to the young people who had to wait patiently for the program of their repatriation and who gave themselves to leave the buildings and the establishment in good condition. Thank you for supporting staff and helping to ensure that our premises are disinfected as much as possible.
May the Lord protect us.»
Bro Rémy Quinton, Brother Visitor of St Pierre Chanel District, Polynesia
UGANDA. Community Safety and School Closures .
«Corona virus is a threat to Ugandans. The pandemic that began in China has put Ugandans on the spot since the news came out that the disease is devastating many countries around the world.
Strict controls are carried out at all points of entry in the country. It is important to remember that Uganda is one of the top destinations of the Chinese. They manage and implement many projects in the country.
On Friday, March 20, the government closed all educational institutions for 32 days. Large gatherings, including funerals, weddings, sporting events and liturgical celebrations of more than 10 people, are not allowed.
These statements were made by the President of Uganda on Wednesday 18. The government urged Ugandans to avoid handshakes and contacts; and always wash their hands with soap or disinfectants.
There are already victims of the disease in our neighbouring countries, Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan and Rwanda. It is a sign that Uganda is already vulnerable to the disease.
Our communities have not taken risks, they are also very aware of the disease. We try as much as possible to avoid handshakes and contacts. Frequent hand washing is encouraged.
On Sunday, the President of the Republic announced the closing of all points of entry into the country. All borders have been closed to passengers arriving or leaving the country. Cargo aircraft as well as UN aircraft are allowed to land at our airports. Freight trucks are also allowed in the country. Health officials have confirmed a victim of Ugandan coronavirus arriving from Dubai on Saturday. He is quarantined and under treatment. »
Bro Rogers Kazibwe, Assistant Provincial – St. Teresa of the Child Jesus Province, Uganda