ROME (CNS) — Of the more than 76,000 people known to have died of COVID-19 in Italy the past 11 months, more than 200 were priests, according to the Catholic newspaper, Avvenire.
Already four priests have died since the start of 2021, the newspaper said Jan. 6, adding that the cumulative toll amounts to about one death every one and a half days since the pandemic began.
Some 204 priests, many of whom were still actively serving their communities, have died in Italy as of early January, the newspaper reported.
While the majority of men were in their late 70s and 80s, one of the youngest to have lost his life was 58-year-old Father Alfredo Nicolardi of the Diocese of Como who died Dec. 31. Hospitalized Dec. 8, his condition worsened and, right before he had to be intubated, he asked a visiting priest for absolution “through the glass” separating them.
Vocationist Father Matteo Mpampanye, who was born in Congo and was serving in parishes south of Salerno, died Dec. 1 at age 51.
Meanwhile, residences for religious women continued to be hot spots for infection, in some cases, infecting almost all the residents.
For example, 104 out of 114 nuns living in a convent in the central Italian town of Bagnoregio tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-December. The breakout happened after the sisters attended a prayer gathering with another group of nuns, according to local reports.
Just a few days later, and in the same province of Viterbo, some 70 sisters living in a convent in Tuscania tested positive.
More recently, of the 45 religious sisters who tested positive for COVID-19 in an assisted living facility in Cervia, near Ravenna, 10 died from the infectious disease, according to news reports Jan. 3.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Assault on U.S. Capitol shocks the world
NEXT: Canadian provinces close churches to contain pandemic
Share this story