It is a gloomy and rainy Sunday morning in Portici, a densely populated town near Naples. Local priest Don Giorgio Pisano walks the streets to visit his parishioners who are forced to stay in because of the lockdown. He cannot see them in their homes, but he can still talk to them on the Intercom.
Don Giorgio knows them all individually. He asks about their health and that of those who live with them. He has kind words for everybody and says this is what people are in need of during the pandemic:
“Every one of us is going through a time of worry and fear. People are scared. And so I believe that communicating simple closeness through greeting people and bringing them together is not only a nice thing to do, but it is fundamental.”
The current lockdown in Italy forced many to stay locked in their houses with few chances to go out and to see other people. The situation is particularly damaging for those who used to attend local churches and to be guided and comforted in their everyday life by their priest. However, a priest near Naples decided it was about time to reunite with his community, even though only on the intercom.
The people are locked in. Some of them have COVID-19 and can't go out, not even for grocery shopping. However, what they miss is not only food, but also words of comfort from their priest. And since they can't go to church, the church comes to them.
“I think this is fundamental to get us together, to make us feel more connected to each other. That is the way we can face our problems, all sorts of problems, not just COVID.”.
Creating and nurturing a feeling of community, of family, despite all restrictions: this is how Don Giorgio has decided to fight the pandemic and how he and his parishioners hope they will, eventually, win.