Sr. Anne Thirion, Provincial of France-Belgium gives us news from Kermaria.
Every Daughter of Jesus in the Province is living this confinement in close union with our Sisters at the Motherhouse who are particularly concerned by this uncomfortable situation. All are trying hard to live through the trial of illness or, at least the trial of isolation, in hope. This short message is simply intended to keep us in touch and to encourage each other. I would also like it to be a thanksgiving for all that is beautiful and great on the site of Kermaria.
Thank you to the staff
The staff – doctors, nurses, care assistants, cleaning services – are devoting themselves without counting the cost. They are working together as a team coordinated with great competence by Mr de Beaulieu, the Director of the Association Perrine Samson, his collaborators and Dr Daniel, the care coordinator. In addition to the regular staff, some temporary workers have come in to reinforce the teams. Discovering the site for the first time, they have marvelled not only at the beauty of the setting but also at the quality of the welcome and attention shown to them by the Sisters. During a conversation, one Sister exclaimed: It’s not too hard, is it? I pray for you! ” ” I accept it … in a situation like this.” Some caregivers who had stayed several days on-site were eager to be reunited with their husbands and young children. Family life is being disrupted by events. Nevertheless, in spite of the discomforts, the Sisters and the staff are forging new bonds.
Thank you to Mme Collober
Mme Collober, our “house mistress”, is taking care of all the logistics. Amongst other things, we have organized the room service of meals. This is provided by regular staff who are now almost unrecognisable in their “cosmonaut” suits. There is also the distribution of linen and even the distribution of a puzzle book that each Sister can complete, alone in her room. All of this must be done while making sure that the rules of hygiene and safety are respected in order to avoid the spread of the virus.
Thank you to all of the Sisters
I would like to say a special word of thanks to those who are providing a service almost beyond their strength. I am thinking of course, of Sister Michelle Duval, the Vice-Provincial, and of the Community “Notre Dame de Joie”, but also of others who have come in from outside communities. Nor can we forget our elderly Sisters, the most fragile and suffering. They have had to arm themselves with patience in order to live a Lent that has proved to be much more demanding than the small sacrifices of previous years. May the Lord comfort them!
Our Father in Heaven sees in secret their hearts and confinements. They will not go unrewarded.
– “For me, this is a time to re-read my life’s journey.”
– ” I am living this time like an unexpected retreat.”
– “I’m amazed at the resources I have to deal with this confinement”
– “I listen a lot to French Christian Radio and I’m going to write to thank them for the beautiful programmes that give us courage.”
– “I contemplate the beautiful nature, the spring that is reborn. To contemplate is to recognize the Presence of God’s love and tenderness.”
– “I pray a lot for the Congregation and all the renewal that is being lived. I’m thinking of the international novitiate.”
– “When I’m in the courtyard walking, I pray for the prisoners.”
– “It would be good if they asked us to say how each of us is experiencing the confinement in Kermaria during those difficult days. »
Signs of communion
Others are expressing themselves in different, non-verbal ways. One Sister is knitting wool vests for the homeless and their dogs. Now that is an original initiative! Some of the Sisters are removing all the labels from the clothes of the deceased Sisters. For them it is a form of prayer, a way of mourning and a sign of communion between heaven and earth.
We need to cultivate perseverance because we must hold on to the end, in trust. Fortunately, we are not alone; others have gone before us and are showing us the way.
Sr Anne Thirion, Provincial, Rennes, France