Sister Barbara Reflects on the Impact of COVID-19

A note from Sr. Barbara Martis

Recently several TV Networks carried a story regarding the death of 13 Felician Sisters in one convent in Livonia, MI.  Sr Edith and I received several phone calls from friends who knew the sisters were members of our Community, and others inquiring whether we knew them. We knew them, as we travelled each year to Chicago or Detroit for our annual Community Assembly where members of our Community gathered from all over the country to assess our life-style and make plans for the future.  This was not one of our plans. I knew all of them, and had worked with four of them, having lived in that convent for four years while I studied at Madonna University and worked at (then) St Mary’s Hospital.

These were all good women who lived by the rule and followed all the directives. But COVID knows no rule and follows no directives.  It managed to enter their convent and took the lives of 13 of them. There are still many others who were infected with the virus, and are now dealing with its effects. Some of our sisters in NJ were also affected by the virus and are now trying to deal with its effects. Our convent in CT, where the sisters who previously served at St Joseph Hospital now reside, was spared. That may have been due to the strict regulations they had put in place: they had been confined to their rooms (including for meals), they wore masks, were not allowed outside the building, and no visitors were allowed into the building. Some of these restrictions are now being lifted – they are allowed to take meals in the dining room (with only 2 people at a table), are able to walk outside, have visitors outside while socially distancing, and are wearing masks at all times.  They are doing their part to keep everyone safe!

Two days ago we received news about the former chaplain in Enfield, CT. He is currently in Georgia with 4 other Franciscan priests serving the people of that area. Four of the priests tested positive for COVID, but Fr Noel tested negative after several tests.  This week he was admitted to the hospital with COVID Pneumonia. He too did everything right and still fell victim.

And what about us? Are we doing everything right? Are we following all directives to help curb this pandemic? It still doesn’t guarantee that we will be immune, but we can give it our best shot.

Be good to yourself, be good to me, and be good to everyone you come in contact with.


Join the campaign – MASK UP FOR ME

Sr Barbara