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Church urges vaccine

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Catholic priest Father Louis Rojas of St. William of Montevergine Church in Shelbyville believes in the scripture: “For with God, nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37.)  

He prayed about having a vaccination clinic for his church community. He also believes, like Pope Francis recently stated, there is a “time to love and a time to share.”  

That was the theme of a recent vaccination program held at St. William in an effort to reduce the coronavirus numbers in the community.  

As of Thursday, there were 400 active cases of COVID-19 in Bedford County. Of those cases, 9 were newly tested and confirmed to have COVID-19. St. 

William takes action  

With the rise of COVID-19 cases in this community, Father Rojas stressed to his church community to get vaccinated this summer.  

With the cooperation of the Bedford County Health Department, the church conducted its first vaccination clinic for the English and Spanish members of the church on July 22.  

There was a turnout of 66 in the Hispanic community who were vaccinated, the priest reports. The second COVID-19 clinic was administered Aug. 22, with a turnout of 71 from the Hispanic community.  

While some were returning for their second shot, there were also some newcomers, the church reports. “None of this would have been possible, I believe, without the encouragement and planning with Father Luis Rojas who took what the Pope [Francis] expressed . . . staying in contact with our health community on numbers regarding our community,” said church member Luci Taylor.  

The Pope stated on Aug. 20 in a global ad campaign that when each individual makes a small act of charity, like getting the COVID19 vaccine, every gesture added together can transform the world.  

“Being vaccinated with vaccines authorized by the competent authorities is an act of love,” Pope Francis shared during that ad campaign.  

Father Rojas said there are a lot of thanks that go out to local health department officials Jennifer Thomas and Teala Donaldson and the entire health department staff.  

He also thanked Fredia Lusk, executive director of the Community Clinic, and staff, for their assistance in getting the news to their patients. Last, but certainly not least, Father Rojas thanked his church for working in many facets to make this vaccination program a success.  

The priest smiles. 

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