This week we celebrate St. Joseph and the Sisters of St. Joseph. The Sisters are a religious community of nearly 500 Vowed Catholic Women and over 500 lay associates who live and minister in the United States and around the world. Their mission is to bring all into unity with God, with one another, and with all creation. The Sisters of St. Joseph does this through prayer, direct service and ministry, partnering with others to serve the dear neighbor, standing with and for the poor and vulnerable, and by advocating for systemic change. What have the Sisters of St. Joseph in our area been up to over the past year? On behalf of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Sister Anne Eugene Metcalf shares the following message.
This past year has been an interesting and challenging one for all of us. The Covid19 epidemic has literally changed our lifestyle. As a community, we live both together and individually. Our life together involves the regular activities of any group living in the same household. An additional aspect of our life and a very important one is praying together. In small community groups these things have remained the same. For those of us who live singly, we have been separated from all our sisters with very little contact and with no community events/celebrations. The sisters at Carondelet Center (mainly retired) have spent much of the year in their rooms with little time outside or in the chapel. For much of the time they have found themselves in quarantine either because it was necessary for them to go off the hill for an appointment or in the event of an employee testing positive for the virus. The goal at the Center is to keep all our senior sisters safe and well thus all precautions were put in place. Unique ways to communicate with them other than by phone have shown the ingenuity of many of our sisters in the LA area. Drive around the center “car parades” have taken place on several occasions, treats have been made and distributed, and prayer services have been prepared on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week. The prayer services are accessible on ZOOM and all of us in the province are able to see each other and participate together in prayer. We have had a large number of sisters go home to God since the pandemic began. For a significant amount of time we did not have Memorial Services however, in the past few months we have been able to attend Memorial Services over Zoom with an amazing number of people participating including families, friends and sisters. The remains of these sisters remain in the Chapel at Carondelet Center until such time when we can celebrate a funeral mass and intern them in our area at the cemetery. We are very grateful for the ways we have been able to come together as a community, but we are ready and anxious to see each other in person and celebrate together. Our Liturgy Committee is preparing a Jubilee Celebration to be held virtually on May 1st for our Jubilarians for both 2020 and 2021. There were three sister Jubilarians in 2020: Sister Therese Martin Merla (70), Sister Mary Ann Leyba (60 years), and Sister Carmel Garcia (60 years). This year Sister Joanne Clare Gallagher celebrates her 70th Jubilee. In closing, a few thoughts during this year of the Pandemic… “We are all grateful for the many ways we have been supported by our families and friends.”
THANK YOU HEALTH CARE WORKERS
St. Francis of Assisi School Falcons recognized the healthcare worker heroes of the COVID pandemic in a service project dubbed “Change-ing Hearts One Cup at a Time”. Students did odd jobs, shared birthday and allowance money, and brought in money they would have spent on themselves, to treat dedicated healthcare workers at John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek to “a moment to breathe” and enjoy a cup of coffee or a smoothie. Students’ donations allowed the school to purchase $480 in Starbucks gift cards, while our PACE parent group graciously added Jamba Juice cards to the bounty. Student-created origami hearts and uplifting expressions of appreciation filled a basket delivered March 15 to the facility. The basket’s gifts will be shared to provide pick-me-ups to those who have given so generously of their time and talent over the last year fighting COVID. Young Falcons created heartfelt video messages of gratitude on FlipGrid, applying their tech skills to encourage these “Heroes in Scrubs”. St. Francis of Assisi School is proud to partner with our parent community in nurturing hearts and minds ready to be of service to our world. We are grateful to the medical professionals who have given so much over the last year providing care and support for those patients and their families stricken by the virus.