News from the Sisters in Jumet and Namur during the pandemic
By Sr. Marie-Rose Lepers, SNDdeN
CORONAVIRUS INVADES OUR LIVES GLOBALLY
We become more and more aware each day that we belong to a human community in a suffering global community, united by a devastating virus! The invasion of COVID-19 has separated and united us!
Social distancing keeps us apart physically but makes us experience deep within our inner beings our essential need for one another. Families reach out to other relatives to assure their safety and wellness. Our Sisters and Associates across the continents and oceans respond to one another on e-mails on First Class, meet on Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, Facetime, etc. We keep praying for all our Sisters, Associates, our families, friends, co-workers people in our ministries and our wider world!
All of us know that no nation, nor politician, nor researcher, nor doctor nor nurse— not anyone has specific answers to resolve this global health crisis. People keep getting sick and many more are dying! Some of us ask: Where is our good God in this dire global human crisis and need? St. Julie Billiart reminds us: Pray, pray, all things are obtained through prayer.
In Jumet as in Namur, we privileged to have a large building and gardens in Namur and a parc in Jumet. In the chapel and common areas, it is easy to keep a reasonable distance. RCF, Christian-Francophone radio of France and Belgium, KTO, French Catholic television, offer us several times for prayer: the Office, the Eucharist, the Rosary, as well as conferences. We extend our community prayer to the whole Church and into the world!
During the first days in Namur, we were preparing celebrations; now, after Lauds, we follow the Mass at Lourdes, at 10 :00 a.m. and we receive communion. In the afternoon, those who are able come together for the Rosary at Lourdes. In the evening, we pray Vespers together as usual.
In the garden at Jumet, certain Sisters take a walk, others work, either in removing the dead leaves and allowing the new sprouts to develop, or to prune some hydrangeas, some rose bushes, or to plant potatoes. In the arcade, in full sunshine, in spite of the low temperature outside, the tomato seedlings are promising! It is still necessary to wait for a few days for the pumpkins, the chestnuts, the zuchini, the melons.
In Namur, at 8 :00 p.m., half of the community open the chapel windows to applaud the doctors, nurses, personnel in rest homes, researchers and all those who are devoting themselves to the common good. Neighbors across the street are doing the same thing, and we are making their acquaintance!