COPING WITH COVID-19
As Covid-19 swept across the globe in March, it affected our way of doing things in our lives, how we worship, work and live with each other.
We would like to share a few things we did to avoid getting this virus, during these months of Covid-19. Just like all of you, we tried to follow the guidelines demanded by our government, health authorities and church leaders. We entrusted everything to God and asked the Holy Spirit to guide our leaders during this Pandemic.
The famous words we had to practice were: “Go home and stay home; we’re all in this together!” We were house-bound and self-isolated … so we stayed home and kept our distance. As we shut ourselves indoors to avoid getting the virus, life started to be different, and our activities diminished.
We all began to live a different way of living Lent and we focused on Jesus’ Passion as we journeyed towards Easter. We were like the disciples after Jesus was arrested in the Garden: the disciples kept their distance from Jesus and were locked up in their homes in fear. Our priority was on prayer. We remembered Pope Francis’ phrase:
“Let us pray for creativity during this crisis”. Our isolation has turned into solitude. Even if we were apart and kept our distance, we remained united through our faith in Jesus-Christ.
Like Jesus, we went to the desert to pray. We made novenas, did many hours of adoration and reflection, we did spiritual readings, made sacrifices, and prayed for the sick and the care-givers. The pandemic shut the door on many of our pastimes, so we spent more time at home, still treasured our daily walks, enjoyed playing cards and developed our hobbies: sewing, knitting and crochet, puzzles, etc.
We also spent time to prioritize prayer. It is only with Jesus that we can face life’s challenges with confidence and hope! We prayed for God’s providential intervention as we followed the Pope’s recommendations during the Pandemic, especially at the end of May. We prayed and invoked the aid of the Virgin Mary during the broadcasting of the rosary from the Grotto in Lourdes as well as in the Vatican Garden in Rome. It truly was a moment of “world prayer”!
Mother Rivier already said, “Everything was done through the prayer of the rosary!”
In May, we also joined in solidarity with all the bishops of Canada who launched the call to honor Mary and pray the Rosary for her protection during the Pandemic. As they consecrated Canada to Mary, we joined them and entrusted our lives to God and to Mary.
Although we were unable to attend our daily Mass, thanks to technology and the social media, we were able to participate in a new liturgical format: Mass broadcasted on T.V! We had the opportunity to follow different Masses on-line, celebrated throughout the world.
Thanks through the wish of our Bishop, we had the privilege of having a “Drive-Thru” Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the large front window of our building in order to accommodate the people who needed to pray and who could drive in our driveway and worship the Lord from their car windows. All-together, more than 500 people came to pray.
During the National Nursing Week, (May 11-17), which marked the International “Year of the Nurse”, we took time to thank the nurses at our Infirmary, for their compassionate care, sacrifice and contributions. To show our appreciations, we made Thank-you Posters and went to show them through the windows. It gave us the opportunity to rediscover and appreciate even more the importance of their role towards all of us.
Since we could not visit our Infirmary Sisters who live in another building, we tried to find a new way to socialize and reach out to them. Since our visits were put to a halt, we had to keep our community healthy. Safety became a priority. In order to bring happiness and joy to our Sisters on Easter Day, we put our talents together and created a new form of fraternity by making large posters with our Easter wishes. Then, we went to their home and showed our posters through the windows. It was a joy for us to see their smiling faces come alive and full of joy! We also visited other nearby people by showing them our posters and Easter message to brighten their day.
We adopted and practiced social, physical distances, stayed apart while still together in response to the spread of the virus; we practiced hygiene efforts, enhanced cleaning in different areas; we used masks and wore gloves when we went out. We also adopted new ways in the cafeteria: keeping our distances as we lined-up for meals, and staying 3 feet apart at table. The staff served us wearing gloves, etc.
We are on the way to full recovery, and as we slowly ease back into regular routines, let us look back and see the good things we experienced during the lock-down.
May we all abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit who gives us strength and courage to keep going forward. May our mother Mary be always at our side. Keep the faith, and God will take care of us!