Coronavirus Crisis: Chaplains Minister to First Responders During Pandemic

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Catholic Community, Catholic New Yorkers, Chaplain, Coronavirus, Crux, Faith, FDNY, New York, New York City, NYPD, Pandemic

By Tim Harfmann

With New York City’s Finest, Bravest and Best on the front lines, the chaplains who minister to them are doing everything they can to support them.

“We have actually been calling all of the firehouses in the city to see how they’re doing, just to wish them well and tell them I’m praying for them,” said FDNY Chaplain Monsignor John Delendick.

“I wish I could visit all of them,” said NYPD Chaplain Monsignor Robert Romano. “But what I try to do is, those who I know and hear about, I call up and just tell them, ‘I want you to know that you’re on my prayer list. I want you to know that if there’s something that you need to call me.”

NYPD Chaplain Monsignor David Cassato says spiritual strength is what’s needed most right now.

“There’s always that fear. Fear is probably the greatest illness because everybody’s afraid!”

“The cops are afraid, not so much that they get the virus, but that they bring it home,” added Monsignor Romano. “Everybody else is told to stay indoors. We have to be outside.”

Monsignor Romano is in close contact with the cops and is praying hard for a Brooklyn police officer enduring a tough time.

“He has a child who has cancer, and so he has to sleep somewhere else for fear that he’ll bring the virus to his son. He can’t even see his son!”

Monsignor Delendick is worried about the firefighters working around the clock, as well as the EMS first-responders inundated with a record-breaking flood of emergencies.

“EMS, I think, has the harder job in terms of the virus because they never know who they’re going to be seeing when they go to a call,” said Monsignor Delendick.

The chaplains know God is watching over the brave women and men helping us to get through the crisis.

“We need to strengthen ourselves, not just physically, but spiritually as well to deal with this,” said Monsignor Romano.