A bishop in northern Italy who had been intubated for 17 days and almost died of Covid-19 celebrated an outdoor evening Mass on 14th June with doctors, nurses, hospital staff and Caritas volunteers who have been helping others during the pandemic.
Bishop Derio Olivero of Pinerolo said he wanted to show his gratitude by celebrating Mass so that those who care for others could “spend an hour enjoying the care of God, because God always takes care of us, even during the pandemic.”
About 400 people, including the head of the intensive care unit at Pinerolo’s Agnelli hospital, attended the Mass in the courtyard of the diocesan seminary; everyone in the congregation wore masks and the chairs were set six feet apart.
For a believer, there always is a future with God, and not even death can derail it, the bishop said before Mass. “I saw how death could come – for two or three days it was very near. But do you know how amazing it is to be able to say, ‘Death, I don’t want you; you will not have the last word, because God is stronger than you are and you will never block my future’.”
Picture: Bishop Derio Olivero of Pinerolo, Italy, gives a homily on 14th June 2020, at an outdoor Mass he celebrated to thank the doctors and nurses who cared for him during the 47 days he was hospitalised with Covid-19. After being intubated 17 days and almost dying of the coronavirus, he said the thing that really takes his breath away is how much God loves and cares for each person. (CNS photo/Lino Gandolfo, Vita Diocesana Pinerolese).