03/01/2021, 17.38
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COVID-19 forces seminarians in Lawang into quarantine

by Mathias Hariyadi

A viral outbreak has been declared at the John XXIII Seminary in East Java, which hosts major seminarians from ten dioceses. At least 30 people have been infected, 13 of whom have been hospitalised. The Sisters of St Charles Borromeo in Yogyakarta, who have already faced the coronavirus, have come to help.



Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the John XXIII Seminary in Lawang, in the Diocese of Malang (East Java).

The community, which includes 28 major seminarians from 10 dioceses, two priests, two deacons and two nuns, has been quarantined since Saturday, said the rector, Father Aloysius Rusdiana Lau.

The local anti-coronavirus task force has placed the school under close watch. Some 30 people have caught the virus: 13 seminarians are in hospital; 14 others, together with priests and nuns, have mild symptoms, and are therefore in self-isolation. Those who did not test positive moved into the nearby Wisma Shyanti home.

The extent of the outbreak has also negatively affected the supply of food and basic necessities. However, aid has already arrived, for which the Bishop of Malang Henricus Pidyarto expresses the gratitude of the diocese through AsiaNews.

Particularly significant is the financial aid and protective equipment that the Nuns of St Carolus Borromeus Religius Congregation (CB) are sending from Yogyakarta to the John XXIII Seminary in Lawang.

The provincial superior, Sister Yustiana Wiwiek Iswanti, explains that this act of solidarity is spiritually motivated by having already had to face COVID-19 in January, when the virus affected the 55 residents of the St Anna Elderly House, which is run by the congregation.

“After implementing a tight health protocol and health recovery programme, they are now all cured of the coronavirus,” Sister Iswanti said.

This experience provides an opportunity for the nuns to experience the closeness of so many people, who brought food, drinks, vitamins and cash so as not to leave the elderly religious alone.

“Even now, we are still receiving so many precious things from our school’s alumni and others showing their love and compassion to us. Now it is our turn to express the same thing to the John XXIII Seminary in Lawang in Malang Diocese.”

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