Shock as Italian Priest digs own grave in Uganda after losing his relatives to coronavirus

Shock as Italian Priest digs own grave in Uganda after losing his relatives to coronavirus

An Italian priest at Angal Catholic Parish in Nebbi Catholic Diocese, Fr Elio Zanei, has dug his own grave to prepare for his death, after being informed that he has lost his relatives and fellow priests to the coronavirus, back home in Italy.

Fr Zanei who came to Uganda in 1996 for pastoral work, surprised people when he dug his own grave in preparation to join those who are dying in large numbers in his home country.

Fr Zanei said he is watching and reading news of his people dying in big numbers, and so there is need to plan for his burial when he is still alive.

Fr Zanei, who is also the parish priest, says he is not ready to be taken back to Italy even if he dies at Angal, but needs to prepare for his death and be buried in his parish.

Fr Zanei, who declined to have his photos taken and published because of the trauma he is undergoing, urged Christians to forgive one another because death has become like a time bomb and people must prepare for it.

“I have lost my relatives, friends and other citizens to coronavirus. It is traumatising to see our people in Italy dying like that. I’m calling upon my fellow Christians to prepare their ways through prayers and learn how to forgive each other in this trying moment of coronavirus which has attacked us,” Fr Zanei said.

One of the catechists attached to Angal Catholic Parish but who declined to be named because she is not authorised to speak on the church matters, said Fr Zanei started isolating himself when the news of Italians dying in big numbers started shooting up.

“On Monday, people were surprised to see a group of youths digging the grave at Angal Catholic Cemetery, but I only told them that it was Fr Zanei who ordered for his grave to be dug,” she said.

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