DAI, With Clergy, Mobilizes Food Relief and More in Face of COVID-19 Crisis



On a recent Saturday, the priest passed out bags of eggs, beans, rice, tomatoes and chicken and sprinted like a grocery store clerk to families waiting in a long line of vehicles at San Juan Diego Catholic Church. Catholic Charities of Dallas had set up a mobile food pantry in the church parking lot. The charity has more than doubled food deliveries since the virus hit North Texas and left so many unemployed or with reduced work.

The following day at the downtown Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Padre Jesus joined auxiliary Bishop Greg Kelly in celebrating Easter Mass in Spanish by video. Padre Jesus delivered a special message about a pause on evictions and said if anyone was threatened, they should call the nonprofit Dallas Area Interfaith, a group both priests work with.

If anyone has symptoms of the coronavirus, the priest said, they should go to a testing site. “Don’t have fear in going to these centers,” he said in a message slipped in before the final Alleluia of the Mass.

Wednesday, in English, Padre Jesus testified, by video, before the Dallas City Council in favor of getting emergency funds to help immigrants who aren’t eligible for federal relief funds because someone in the household is undocumented.

“We must direct funds to help the most vulnerable in our city,” Padre Jesus said...

[Photo Credit: Ashley Landis, Dallas Morning News]

Catholic Priest Tends to Most Vulnerable in Pandemic: the Uninsured and Unemployed Dallas Morning News [pdf]