RICHMOND, Ky. (LEX 18) — From the deck on the back of Father Jim Sichko's Madison County home, you can see for miles and the view is spectacular. Maybe this is where he comes up with all of his philanthropic missions?
“These are all spontaneous. I run it by the Bishop, my superior, and if it gets approved, I run with it,” Sichko said.
Remembering he had a friend of a friend who works in the medical supply industry, Father Jim had an idea to secure 10,000 N95 masks for distribution to medical professionals across the state so they can better serve the portion of the community that has, or will, become infected with COVID-19.
“10,000 masks is actually a small amount when these are normally being ordered in the hundreds of thousands, so I had a little trouble getting them,” Sichko said.
But fortunately for those who will benefit from these masks, Father Jim knows people in high places. Or should we say one person in one very high place.
“Thank God for the intercession with Pope Francis, and we were able to get things done,” he said of his friend Pope Francis, for whom he serves as a Missionary of Mercy.
The masks will arrive on Father Jim’s doorstep over the weekend. He hopes to hand them over to the Health Department on Monday. He would like for them to reach all corners of our state, remembering not to forget those in need in parts of Eastern and Western Kentucky.
He’s also, as he tends to do, found a silver lining to the dark cloud hovering over the entire planet right now.
“I think God is challenging us in a unique way,” he said. “To get back to families, to get back to being with one another, to recognize the gifts we’ve been given,” he continued, before rattling off the many things that have been taken from us such as work, and school. And one other critical supply.
“So many times we take things for granted. Just look at the toilet paper situation,” he said tongue in cheek.
We used to take N95 masks for granted too.
“Despite how difficult it may be, there is always good that can come from something," Sichko said.
Father Jim is always preaching, when he’s not too busy giving.