In this time of tragedy, anxiety, and isolation, we share with you prayers for support and reflection, and some examples of ways our sisters are continuing their ministries during this critical time.
NURSING IN ZIM-BABWE, AFRICA
I am currently in Harare at Parirenyatwa group of hospitals doing nursing manage-ment and administra-tion mid January to April. At this hospital we are only doing basic corona virus screening for clients and staff. There is a hospital within Harare which has been designated for manage- ment of corona virus cases. No ventilators and we don’t have the necessary protective clothing yet[late March]. There is still a lot to be put in place. We still have long hours of load sharing, no running water etc. Very chal- lenging to have this pandemic in the country which is already struggling eco- nomically. At the regional hospital in Chinhoyi, we had the first case of corona death and we are at risk though we tryto be safe. We don’t have adequate pro- tective clothing right now. We have N95 masks and sanitizer. The country doesn’t have much.
FROM LISBON, PORTUGAL
Since we were called to stay home, very few things have changed in my life. Just the place and the way of working have changed. The work I used to do all day at the Catholic University of Portugal now is all done through the internet at home: classes; personal monitoring of the students who are writing their thesis; the regular meetings of Research Center and the intensive work of the National Commission for a New Portuguese Translation of the Bible. In the beginning the students had some difficulty bring attentive, but now all is going very well. Most encouraging was to see the openness of the members of the Translation Commission, two senior biblical scholars and a senior specialist in Portuguese, who were always hesi-tant about working through the internet. They got the help they needed, and now they are very happy with this new achievement.
EAST 93rd STREET, NEW YORK CITY
March 31, 2020: In these days of “staying in place” we have supported one another in daily prayer, preparing meals and celebrating the feast of St. Patrick with soda bread. We are continuing our work via Zoom e.g. UN meetings, RCIA class, Book Group, JPIC and teaching one another new aspects of zoom and computer, drawing, weaving. There are exercises every morning on the 3rd Floor corridor of our apartment building. Each night at 7:00 pm we hang out our window on the 14th floor with flashlights and clapping hands saying thanks to our doctors and nurses for their care. Even the NY Police joined us with their sirens.
PRAYER AND SERVICE IN THE MIDST OF THE PANDEMIC
There’s time for everything.
There’s time to look at the world with a different view.
There’s time to ask yourself, how is my spiritual life? Have I had time to talk to God?
There is time to strengthen faith and trust in God’s merciful love.
There’s time to be with your family, enjoy your kids and love more.
There is time to smile, sing and see the beauty of life.
There is time to ask forgiveness and be forgiven.
There’s time to call someone you haven’t spoken to in so long.
There’s time to say, You’re special to me, I’m missing you, or even, I love you.
There’s time to tell someone: are you in need of anything? What can I do for you?
There is time to do differently, perhaps we had no time,
or perhaps we prioritized other things and left aside what was most important before.
There is time to learn from the simplest things of everyday life.
There is time to learn from others what little we have to offer.
There is time to be grateful for all we have received from God.
Now it’s time to look at what we’re living in at the moment.
There are not rich and not poor,
we are all in the same boat suffering the same consequences.
And we can even wonder! What’s all this about, what does God want from us?
What’s happening is to review and reflect what we’re actually doing in this world.
Are we building bridges of justice and solidarity?
May we return different and transformed with God’s merciful love.
More human and supportive.
May God help us to have a renewed gaze and a burning heart
that knows how to love without measure.
(AN RSHM IN RIACHÃO DO JACUÍPE, BRAZIL)