Raising money by selling white cloth face masks, a parish in the Ivory Coast has begun a project to provide food and other necessities to retired bishops, priests, ministers and imams.
“We must not and cannot abandon old priests who gave a lot, emeritus bishops who did a lot,” said Fr Eric Norbert Abekan, parish priest of the Holy Family parish in the Riviera neighbourhood of Abidjan.
Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said the parish’s ‘White Masks’ project launched on 30th May ‘to offer support to vulnerable people and in particular to emeritus bishops, retired priests, pastors and imams, as well as elders, widows and orphans who live in serious precarious situations, aggravated by the social and economic lockdown imposed to curb the Covid-19 pandemic’.
“In concrete terms, the movement offers food donations and non-food basic necessities to these people,” the priest said.
About 42 per cent of Ivory Coast’s population is Muslim, while Christians account for about 34 per cent of the population.
Fr Abekan said the parish hopes the ‘White Masks’ will not be a temporary initiative but will continue. “What we want to do with the people who are helping us with the ‘White Masks’ is to make the gestures of generosity carried out during the Covid-19 crisis continue substantially throughout life.”
Picture: A student wears a protective mask a classroom at a school in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on 25th May 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Raising money by selling cloth face masks, a parish in the Ivory Coast has begun a project to provide food and other necessities to retired bishops, priests, ministers and imams. (CNS photo/Luc Gnago, Reuters).