01 May 2020

Family's plea for prayers for COVID-19 patient answered

The Southern Cross  |  May 2020

Family's plea for prayers for COVID-19 patient answered

The Faraguna family knows only too well the importance of prayer in a crisis.

When 68-year-old Paul Faraguna was fighting for his life after contracting COVID-19 on board the Ruby Princess cruise ship, his family reached out to the Catholic Church for help.

With churches closed and Masses suspended, they went online where they found information about the live streaming of Easter services from St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral.

Paul’s son Adam emailed the Adelaide Archdiocese via its website explaining that his father was in the Intensive Care Unit of the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He said his family would be watching Mass online for Palm Sunday, a day that was very important for their father.

“His condition is not good and he is fighting for his life,” he wrote.

“Please let the priest(s) know his condition in his hour of need, we need prayers for this selfless person.

“He has given nearly 200 blood donations in his life. He also volunteers at the parish…”

His message was passed on to Fr Anthoni Adimai, the Cathedral Administrator and celebrant on Palm Sunday, and Fr Adimai asked people to pray for Paul at the beginning of the Mass which was viewed by thousands.

“The outcome is not looking good, but I am praying for mercy,” Adam wrote on April 7 in his second email to the Archdiocese.

“He is a selfless man…a kind, gentle man, with a lot of integrity.”

Adam said that it was particularly difficult for the family because they couldn’t be by his dad’s side to hold him and talk to him (due to the highly contagious nature of the virus).

“Please continue to pray for him, we need all the help we can get. My mum and dad have been together for 47 years and she will be lost without him.”

The family also made contact with the Tranmere parish where Paul attends Mass every Sunday. The parish priest Fr Roy Elavumkal called the family regularly to check on Paul’s progress and to tell the family he was praying for him.

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