The Rev. Michael K. Barth of Trinity Missions has Issued a Prayer Request for the Rev, Father Francisco Valdovinos

MECCA —  The Rev. Father Francisco Valdovinos, S.T., pastor of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, is in critical condition at an undisclosed location, according to a prayer request The Rev. Michael K. Barth of Trinity Missions issued Monday.

He has been hospitalized suffering from COVID-19 and its complications. “His condition is being monitored hourly and and the medical professionals are providing him all the treatments available at present,” according to the request. “His condition however is critical.”

“In caring for our brother, the directives he left in case of medical need are being followed,” the prayer request stated,

On April 29 and May 1, the parish served as a testing site for the virus, providing 200 tests in a collaborative effort with the office of Rep. Raul Ruiz, who represents the 36th Congressional District of California, according to Inland Catholic byte.

“We need to do this to protect the people,” said Father  Valdovinos, S.T., Pastor of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe. “We can kill the coronavirus.”

Fr. Valdovinos and other priests belonging to the Servants of the Most Holy Trinity religious order who are ministering in the Eastern Coachella Valley were also tested as a precautionary measure. None of the priests tested positive for the coronavirus.

In addition to providing COVID-19 testing the Mecca parish is collecting and distributing food baskets that include grains, fruits and vegetables along with non-food items such as toilet paper. The economic impact of the pandemic has hit migrant workers especially hard, increasing demand at local food pantries and churches. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe is distributing 600-700 food baskets every day.

“We expect to continue to do this as a service to the community,” says Fr. Valdovinos. “I want to keep in contact with the people.”