Life in times of unforeseen…
First of all, we would like to thank each one of you for your greetings, concerns and prayers in this time of coronavirus. We want to tell you that we, all the sisters, are well and safe.
Yes, this is an unforeseen period for all of us like the rest of Italy and the whole world. With the wide spread of the coronavirus, the country has come under a lock down. Here in Italy, this is the famous hashtag for this time of corona #iostoacasa, meaning ‘I stay at home’. As the hashtag advises, we, all the sisters stay inside or within our compound. The streets are silent, cars are parked along the roads, but a few vehicles running and few people jogging or walking with dogs. All that we hear is the singing of the birds and the noise of the machines from the hospital. We realize how used we were to the noise!
We have come to a complete lock down, except for the necessities like medical care, supermarkets and work reasons. The government strictly prohibits from going out and crowding. All the parks and playgrounds are closed. This puts families in challenging situations, since the schools are already closed for 2 weeks. If we go out to the supermarket, we need to keep the one-meter distance with people. For some of us it is a very strange feeling to stand in line to buy food. The churches in Rome are closed and we cannot hold any public activities. Therefore, this also affects our Motherhouse life and activities. We have no Holy Mass in the Motherhouse and this is the first time for the Motherhouse sisters to experience it.
The Villa Maria hotel had to be closed for this period and all the services suspended. Sr. Maria Pia Conte says that this is the first time ever in 22 years that she has seen the main door of Villa Maria closed. It gives a strange feeling. Also in the hospital they only do the necessary duties. The ambulatory area or physiotherapy are very reduced in order to avoid any infection. At the moment, you would find a lot of free space on the notorious overcrowded parking lot. We do not know how long this situation will last. The peak is not reached yet – not in Italy and surely not in the rest of Europe. After the emergency we surely have to face a big economic crisis here in Europe.
The sisters in the Motherhouse come together to pray the lauds or last Sunday for a “Celebration of the Word”. We follow Eucharistic celebrations on TV or in the internet and we find some other entertainment and celebrations together. The sisters, who do volunteer work in the hospital, now stay back in the Motherhouse. Thank God, that we have a big garden and we can walk around and enjoy the green.
- Sr. Maria Yaneth and Sr. Lilly Kurian completed their visitation in Sri Lanka and cannot return to Rome now. We are caught up with our plans like the rest of the world! But, thank God that we live in a period of new technologies and we are able to bridge the gaps of distance and time in some ways. We will begin our normal council meetings, this time online with the help of Zoom. We had the first test and taste of the online council meeting although we had used it for short meetings.
Our sisters who are doing the university courses and language courses have online lessons. Our translator, Ms. Francesca Soave, works from her home.
So, life goes on in a very different way – but it goes on and we try to cope with the given possibilities. You might have watched the videos of Italians singing from their balconies. We need to keep the spirits high and welcome the unforeseen for the good of everyone.
Kindly pray for…
- The doctors, nurses and all those who tirelessly work in the hospitals day and night
- For the politicians of the countries to make the right decisions, to adapt right measures and more possibilities to help people
- For the people who are infected, that they find support, a consoling presence, healing touch
- For all the groups of people organized to help the people affected
- For all who face existential financial problems, that they do not despair but find help
- For all staying in homes, that we find patience, creativity and hope.
Thank you again for your prayers and your support. God bless you all in this very special time of lent
Sr. Ewa, Sr. Jacqueline, Sr. Renária, Sr. Juby & Sr. Brigitte