Portuguese priest celebrates Easter from convertible microcar
LISBON (Europe) – Father Nuno Westwood turned the sunroof of a microcar into a pulpit on Sunday to deliver an Easter service on the move through his parish on the outskirts of Lisbon where the coronavirus has confined people to their homes.
Dozens of residents greeted him from their windows, clapping and waving as his prayers blasted through speakers attached to the roof of a second car, which also bore a giant cross adorned with flowers.
“The idea is, especially at Easter, during this pandemic when people have lost hope a little and are scared, to give them a message of happiness and for them to know they are not alone,” he told Reuters. “God is with us all, and that’s the message we want to convey, if only from a car!”
Around 88% of the Portuguese population is Catholic, according to a 2015 survey by the Catholic Church, and priests have resorted to conducting sermons to empty churches and broadcasting online during the country’s lockdown.
Portugal has so far reported 16,585 cases of the new coronavirus, and 504 deaths, a small fraction of the toll in neighbouring Spain.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)