Sr Anne Thirion, the Provincial of France-Belgium, brings us up to date with the situation at the Motherhouse since the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Despite the confinement that makes the days seem longer, time passes very quickly when we look at the weeks that have elapsed since my first letter. But you can imagine the price we pay when, we must stay all day long, in a small room that seems to suffocate us.
So, let’s open a window together on to the garden where a few Sisters are walking, breathe deeply and contemplate the marvels of nature. We, who cannot get out, would like to go there too, and smell the perfume of the flowers.
Passages to live
Since my previous message, there have been passages. Yes, Easter has passed through our darkened lives and tombs have opened. Several of our Sisters have been able to leave the “Covid 19” space and go back to their rooms, their personal domain. This is already a small victory. But beware … we must be careful, keep our distance, wear a mask, use the gel. This so important rule is vital and the same for all. But it is hard to respect!
During the Holy Days, every effort was made at Kermaria to transmit the times of celebration to most of the rooms. What an epic! Thank you to the technical services!
Prayer times retransmitted
Since Holy Thursday, Father le Cunff, like the great radio announcers, has broadcasted from the sacristy right next to the chapel, while Marie-Noëlle, who animates the music, is in the chapel with Saint Joseph as her only company.
He is patiently wating to see those who usually, during the day, pass in and out to pay him a short visit. He knows that, as soon as it is possible, the traffic will resume in a fully restored chapel. Through his broadcasts, Father Le Cunff gives a little breath of fresh air and hope to each one, evoking the encounters of Jesus with so many overwhelmed men and women, eager for healing, comfort, and consolation. He knows the sufferings and the expectations of each one and always finds the right words.
From healing to Communion
On the occasion of the Easter celebrations, Sr Michelle wished to show her kindness to each one of the Sisters by distributing a short message as a sign of affection in the name of the resurrected Christ. At 8 p.m. none of the Sisters can join the townspeople at their windows to applaud the nursing personnel, but nevertheless, they throw bunches of thanks every time a service is rendered to them and the joy is shared.
One of our Sisters, Marie Jouchet, speaks on behalf of all:
“Thank you for your circular, which brought us comfort in this time of confinement. While in nature, everything invites us to the open air, to be joyful: the sun, the birds, the flowers, we are nevertheless, favoured. The people who look after us offer us a ray of sunshine and good humour. The printed matter, games, stories, and various texts that we are given, are a precious bulwark against the enemy. Relationships … Sisters, families, friends (for those with a mobile phone), our short afternoon breaks… all this helps us. But how can we not think of all those people, families who live in anguish, fear, illness … This unchosen «retreat» allows us however to return to the essential, what has marked our lives, our paths in life: that of the Incarnation. On this Easter feast, may the resurrected Lord bring life, light, and joy to our world. May hope guide us towards a new world.”
Thank you, Marie, for this beautiful testimony that gives us the joy of being in communion with what many are living intensely. One of them exclaimed “I never understood what it means to ‘Honour the Sacred Humanity of the Son of God.” “How fortunate to be able to take advantage of all this calm, this time to recharge our batteries.” “How spoiled we are…”
The Sisters who came as reinforcements also express their gratitude for the trust shown in them and the humble service offered. A tough, unique, and meaningful experience.
“We don’t forget other communities”
These few pieces of news from the Mother House allow us to communicate what the Sisters who are most deprived of the means of communication are living. This does not mean however, that we underestimate what is happening in the small communities of the Province. They are all present in our thoughts and prayers. We know how much care the Vice-Provincials have taken to keep in touch with them and to accompany them in this time of trial. Thank you also to each one of them.
Lord, on my way to Emmaus, you were there, hidden in the heart of my darkness and I did not know it…
Sr Anne Thirion, Rennes, France