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Dominican brother returns as medic to Covid-19 frontline in Belfast

By Katie Ascough - 02 May, 2020

And honestly, I just can't wait to be a priest. This is very temporary, the circumstances are extraordinary – Brother Chris.

St Saviour’s Church, Dublin

According to RTÉ, Dominican Brother Chris Gault from Belfast has answered the UK government’s call for retired medics to re-register and volunteer their services. Brother Chris was a junior doctor before he joined the Dominican St Saviour’s Priory in inner-city Dublin which he recently left to join the Covid-19 frontline in Belfast City.

“I received an email and in discussion with my superiors I thought, is this the right thing to do, is this the Christian thing to do? I’m here, the power of prayer is not to be underestimated. And I’m still praying,” Brother Chris said.

The Dominican brother has returned to the Mater Hospital, the Belfast Trust’s allocated Covid-19 hospital, where he worked after graduating from Queen’s University. The brother said he is even more impressed by his colleagues at the hospital than ever before and described it as a very new and a very real experience with everyone just trying their best.

“Their dedication is unreal, they’re actually an inspiration to me, the ability of these professionals to adapt to these crisis situations and just get on with it. They’re actually so convicted that they’re going to beat this virus and I have real hope that they will,” he said.

While returning to the wards brings Brother Chris back to his former path in the field of medicine, which is in many ways also a vocation, he still says that priesthood “is 100 per cent” his true calling and he “can’t wait to be a priest”.

“I always had thoughts of giving my life to the Lord in that way. Medicine’s a vocational calling too but I always had the sense that it was priesthood. I tried to run away for a few years but when I finally answered that, the peace that came from the surrender of my will to His was immense. And honestly, I just can’t wait to be a priest. This is very temporary, the circumstances are extraordinary,” he said.

Brother Chris concluded by saying that, while we don’t know when, eventually the virus will be beaten. “So I would encourage people to pray, turn to the Lord and just have hope, and wait it out.”

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