Although he received some criticism for doing so, Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell sheltered the fiancé of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die of Ebola in the U.S., during the required quarantine period because that’s what Jesus would have done.
The Catholic News Agency is reporting that when the Bishop was approached by Mayor Mike Rawlings and Judge Clay Jenkins to offer housing for Louise Troh, 54, and her family, he did not hesitate to agree.
“I knew that we had to help. Certainly, the Catholic Church has a long period of helping those in need, and Ms. Troh and her family were and remain in need,” the bishop said in an October 20 blog post.
When asked by reporters why he offered refuge to non-Catholics, Bishop Farrell said: “We don’t help because someone is Catholic, we help because we are Catholic and that is what we are called to do.”
Ms. Troh, along with her teenage son and two nephews were housed in a remote area on the grounds of the Conference and Formation Center in Oak Cliff for 21 days. They remain symptom free and have been released from quarantine.
On the morning of her release, Bishop Farrell said that he visited and prayed with Ms. Troh “and she expressed her profound gratitude to the diocese for providing shelter for her family.”
She also expressed sorrow over losing her husband-to-be and concern for the two nurses who contracted the disease while caring for him.
“My beloved fiance … did not survive with us,” she said, according to The Los Angeles Times. “Our hearts also go out to the two brave women who have been infected by this terrible disease as they were trying to help him.”
Troh, who is employed as a nurse’s assistant at a nursing home, is not giving interviews for now, but promised to do so in the future. “I do have a story to tell, and I look forward to telling it in my own way at the right time,” she said.
Her pastor, the Rev. George Mason of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, confirmed that Troh is planning to write a book about her experience but for now, she just wants to resume her life “and fade into the woodwork as fast as possible.”
Bishop Farrell is asking the faithful to keep Ms. Troh and her family in their prayers “as they continue to mourn the loss of Mr. Duncan and prepare to find a permanent residence and move on with their lives.”
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