I sense everyone’s desire to be in tune with and, therefore, I thought to summarize what the sisters share with us. I know that today’s data is not complete and, furthermore, it may very soon become obsolete, but we will continue communicating.
We start in the Far East… The celebrations of the Word take central place, as they cannot participate in the Eucharist. In both Indonesia and the Philippines the number of those affected is increasing more and more. As in other countries with less health resources, there is fear for the poorest places, for having less facilities to treat the infected.
In Africa, in countries where life is complicated in itself, now it is with greater reason. Churches and schools are closed, only small markets are open, with many people looking for food. Although the Congolese president said not to leave home, people leave because they cannot stay without eating. Prices have gone up four times. People with suspected of virus when taken to the hospital, nobody cares for them. Because of the isolation, it is impossible to imagine the hospital in Africa without the care of the family. The sisters who work at the health center, in Nigeria, Cameroon and Congo, are extremely cautious. Some postulants have left temporarily and stay with their family who live nearby.
In Europe, the strongest situations for now are in Italy and Spain, with the highest number of sick and dead. The accompaniment becomes more challenging where there are more older sisters; Let us especially think of the sisters in Granada, Barcelona, Madrid, Zaragoza…
Some are in isolation within communities. For the communities it is a very strong reality knowing that not even tests or medical visits are available for everyone to verify the diagnosis.
Schools in all three countries are in full swing with online programs. The same applies to class services in other centers. In the Zaragoza community, the sisters have been able to carry out days of spiritual exercises in this spirit of prayer and communion with those who suffer.
From South Asia, where the highest density of population, in the face of great confusion, they share their trust in God and that He is going to hear the cry of the poor. The sisters are following the news and thinking about the most affected places.
In Latin America and in the Virgen de Guadalupe Province (surely more details will follow soon) for what they share, they follow the confinement directives as in other parts of the world. Where it is possible to take the classes online, sisters try to do them and the ones who teach do the same. Communications have been reinforced and the sisters are encouraged to strengthen communion from the different houses by sharing good practices of solidarity and spiritual experience
In the General House in Rome, for reasons of the Council meetings planned before, all general leadership is present. We have been able to hold the meetings and continue to spend time working online and in communication with the Congregation.
Sharing all this time together, in such an international community helps us to maintain communion with the whole world. It is an opportunity to work from multiculturalism towards a Claretian culture that unites and identifies us.
We share the general news but we need to give a reading of faith to it. We try to do it. We do it with the Word and the Lenten liturgy. Social networks help us. Not a day goes by without a long column of meditations, songs, comments, symbolic images, reports, etc. Some very good, others too far from the evangelical message that our critical spirit should be able to sift and spread not.
I conclude with Pope Francis: “The Lord challenges us and, in the midst of our storm, invites us to wake up and activate that solidarity and hope…; The Lord wakes up to awaken and revive our paschal faith. We have an anchor: on his Cross we have been saved.”
Wishing each of us a holy “Holy Week”