Continued prayers are requested for Indian Bishop Jacob Barnabas Chacko Aerath, whose health reportedly is improving after contracting COVID-19 in April.
A close friend and partner of CNEWA, the bishop of the Syro-Malankara Eparchy of St. John Chrysostom of Gurgaon, based in New Delhi, had been in a critical state on ventilator support since April. Updates from his closest aids report that the bishop is conscious and “is responding positively” to being weaned off the ventilator for increased periods of time, and “maintains the improved parameters.”
In a brief message on Monday, 28 June, the eparchial administrator, Father Varghese Vinayanand, O.I.C., called for continued prayers that the bishop may be “strengthened enough to be removed from the ventilator” altogether.
News about Mar Barnabas arrived as CNEWA continues to support the relief work of the local Catholic churches among vulnerable populations affected adversely by the pandemic, its related lockdowns and economic consequences.
In and around Delhi, the eparchy’s Prachodana Social Service Society, with funds secured from CNEWA, distributed food kits and hygiene items in May to 1,000 families.
CNEWA has partnered with the Malankara Social Service Society of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Major Archeparchy of Trivandrum, situated in the capital of the state of Kerala, in the distribution of food kits and hygiene kits, including sanitizers, soap and masks, to 1,000 families within the territory of the archeparchy in May. A second distribution of an additional 1,459 medical kits in June was funded by a special collection in the Archdiocese of New York for CNEWA’s COVID relief work in India.
In the village of Pirappancode, St. John’s Health Services, another institution of the archeparchy, augment its services for COVID-19 patients through the distribution of personal protective equipment, surgical gowns, oxygen flow meters and cots.
In the Trichur district of Kerala, CNEWA provided resources for the distribution of food, hygiene and medicine kits to another 1,000 families. The Hrudaya Palliative Care Trust, established by the Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Irinijalakuda, assisted with this distribution. The trust engages in medical, educational and other charitable activities, including the provision of free palliative home care to patients in need.
The above projects are only a handful of the life-saving distribution projects funded by CNEWA and its generous donors.