by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
What I relate here is filled with so much pathos that I can scarcely keep myself from breaking into tears as I write it.
This is the true story of an elderly woman, here at Rome, whose whole day revolved about Jesus and how the Church shutdown, ordered by Bergoglio, is tantamount to a double death sentence for her. I call her, Caterina, because I do not know her real name and to protect her privacy.
I do not know Caterina. But the first time I visited a local Catholic Church, there she was entering from the side door. She suffers from such acute arthritis that when she enters the Church, she moves first the right foot forward about 2 inches and then the left, and then one after the other, she makes her way to the central isle.
You can see the joy in her face as she does. It is as if a light is turned on. She smiles, she is so happy. She waves her tiny hand at all the parishioners she knows. She is a small frail woman. About 85, maybe. No higher that 5 feet. Probably less than 110 lbs. She wears an overcoat of fine quality. Everything is in order. Her hair is perfectly arranged, she wears earrings of quality. Her shoes are in good condition. She wears stockings and a dress to below her knees. She carries a leather handbag of modest size. She grabs on to the pews as she makes her way to the second pew on the right of the mail aisle. She shuffles to her spot and sits.
At the offertory, she takes one of the baskets offered her by the other volunteer, and despite the pain of walking, she helps take up the collection. Smiling at all, who give or who do not give.
She receives communion with devotion and after Mass makes a thanksgiving. And then she shuffles her way out of Church.
And then Bergoglio cancelled the Mass at Rome
And then she came to Church to find it open but empty.
She was disoriented.
Where is everyone? She looked at her watch.
She made her way to the front pews and sat, fully expecting the Mass to begin on time.
But nothing. About 10 minutes later, she looked around in consternation. Where was everyone?
She got up and shuffled her way out, wondering were everyone was.
And the next day, she returned as she always does at the same precise time, looking for the mass. And wondering again where everyone was. At last a laywoman who had come to say the Rosary approaches and explains there will be no mass for some time now, because of the epidemic. She does not understand.
She says, “Don’t they know that my whole day is preparing to come to Mass?” Her face falls. She is disconsolate.
But the next day, she comes again. And again, there is no Mass. Now you can see the sadness. And the next day, she comes again. And there is greater sadness.
Seeing this, I wondered for her. Who is taking care of her? I ask myself. I wait until she leaves Church and then I leave and catch up to her on a side street.
She tells me that her whole day revolves about Jesus and attending Mass. She does not know what to do, now. She does not understand why the Mass is cancelled. She wanders off to somewhere, confused.
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Today, about 3 weeks later, as I returned from waiting in a long line to enter a supermarket, I saw a very small woman on the sidewalk. She was much smaller than I remember her, her face was much different. I did not think it was her.
But she greeted me. And from her voice I recognized it was Caterina!
But I could not believe it was Caterina. She was disheveled. Her hair was all in a mess, as if it had not be combed for days. Her overcoat was dirty. Her shoes scuffed. Her clothing under her coat was not properly arranged as one could see from her collar.
She wore a disposable face mask, which was put on wrongly, slanting from one cheek down to the jaw on the oppose side of the face.
I looked on her, aghast. What had happened to her? I asked myself.
We talked. I was very concerned for her. Did she live alone? Did she have anyone to care for her? Yes, she said she had family who comes to bring her some groceries and look after her now and then. I looked at her, and doubted that. She was on the way to her favorite bakery to get some bread.
But it was her face which told the truer story. It was bloated in a very strange way, on the side of both of the jaws. It was marked with dark blotches. Her eyes were glazed and seemingly not well placed in the skull.
In short, she looked about 20 years older, and totally neglected.
Caterina’s whole purpose in life was going to daily Mass and being with Jesus. But now without the Mass, she is a little sheep wandering aimlessly.
She seemed so very depressed.
Caterina is being killed in body and soul by the Church closure. This is what the local clergy, who listen to the Antipope are doing. And this is what they will have to explain to the Tremendous Judge of souls on the Last Day.
Please say a prayer for Caterina and the millions of souls who have been put in the same predicament.
CREDITS: The Featured Image is a stock photo by Sergio Omassi on Pexels.com, and is not that of Caterina.
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