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Covid-19 Vaccine interview with Father Adam

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

The next Covid-19 Vaccine interview is with ๐…๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐€๐๐š๐ฆ of the Sint Maarten Catholic Church!

๐‚๐š๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐š ๐›๐ข๐ญ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ? My name is Adam Oleszczuk, but most people know me as Father Adam. I'm originally from Poland. I have been ordained as a priest in the Catholic church in 1998. Most of my ministry I spent in the Caribbean because soon after my ordination, I went to Jamaica and ministered there for about 16 years. In 2015, I moved to Sint Maarten and this is my sixth year here. I feel very much at home here, in St. Maarten.

I like to read and Iโ€™m also a bit of a handyman. There's always something to be done, in the house or in the church. I also like to spend time with people and help them wherever I can.

๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐๐ข๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‚๐Ž๐•๐ˆ๐ƒ-๐Ÿ๐Ÿ— ๐ฉ๐š๐ง๐๐ž๐ฆ๐ข๐œ ๐š๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐›๐จ๐ญ๐ก ๐š๐ญ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐๐š๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž? I remember, early in March of 2020, walking on the boardwalk in the evenings, and observing passengers who would be waiting for their ferry to St. Bath, I was pondering, when and how the virus would come to us. And then one day suddenly we got the message that the first cases of the virus have been identified on the Dutch side of the island. Within a short time, the decision was made to close the churches. Fortunately, we have some young people at the church who are tech-savvy, so we went online almost right away. This way we were able to let the people know that we are there for them, to encourage and to support, and to pray for one another.

For me personally, I'm not a person who likes to stay in the office. Therefore, it was a little bit difficult for me not to be able to go outside. But Iโ€™m happy we were able to resume our activities right after the churches were open, following protocols to create a safe environment for everyone.

I must say that I'm really proud of how we have handled the reopening of our churches. Everyone has responded with such responsibility by following the protocols and creating a safe environment for others.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ, ๐ข๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐จ๐ฉ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐จ๐ง, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐ญ๐จ ๐ง๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ฅ ๐š๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง? Iโ€™m not sure if weโ€™re ever going back to the way it was last year, because the world is rapidly changing all the time. Only 20 years ago we didnโ€™t have cell phones, and now we almost canโ€™t imagine living without them.

Personally, I would say yes, we can go back to the way it was before. When you look at the history of humanity, there have been many horrible things that happened to us. And yet, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, we were back at life. I believe that we will overcome this one too and create an even better world. And I think that process has started already, with the introduction of the vaccine.

What bothers me, however, is the fact that vaccination on large scale is only happening in rich countries. I believe it should be happening at the same level around the world so that the whole world would be healed at the same time.

Yes, vaccination is a huge step forward, however, it is just the first step. For time being, we all need to keep wearing masks, especially in public places, or when we are together with others. I think the frequent washing of the hands has become our habit. I always remind myself, the first thing you do when you get home is to wash your hands.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐š๐œ๐œ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ข๐ญ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ฏ๐š๐ข๐ฅ๐š๐›๐ฅ๐ž?

As a priest, so Iโ€™m constantly around people. Even though we follow all the protocols at the church, I want to make sure that I did everything I can to protect the people around me.

It's important for me to be vaccinated so that others who trust me, trust the church, and feel safe around me and in the church. For me, as I repeat all the time at the church, creating a safe environment is priority number one.

I'm not afraid to be vaccinated. When we get vaccinated, we are not only protecting ourselves, but weโ€™re protecting the people around us. I want to encourage everyone who shares my beliefs, please play your part.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ฎ๐›๐ญ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐š๐œ๐œ๐ข๐ง๐ž? I would say, you have the right to doubt. We all ask questions such as: how come that the vaccine was developed so fast? How long will the vaccine last, will we have to take it again soon? And all these are valid questions.

However, we have many vaccines we use in the world today. And all of them save lives. They prevent diseases and save millions of lives. If all these vaccines work, why then shouldnโ€™t this one work too? The entire world has been working on this vaccine, exchanging researches, sharing knowledge, making it the best it can be.

Since we put our interview in a church context, I would like you to know that the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, is already vaccinated. He has also made many strong statements supporting the Covid-19 vaccination. We too, need to do it, to save lives.

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