By the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
As we continue to experience the realities of COVID-19, we pray for all those infected by the virus and their loved ones. While we self-quarantine to avoid encountering the virus, health care professionals willingly expose themselves to the pandemic every day. Their dedication and commitment is inspiring.
At the same time, they are concerned about exposing their loved ones to the virus and putting them at risk. We hear news reports of them moving into hotel rooms, sleeping in their garages, or temporarily living in RVs.
Heeding our call to be a healing, compassionate presence, we offered health care professionals from Crozer-Chester Medical Center housing in our unused spiritual center spaces—Clare House and the Hermitages—during this crisis. These health care providers are unable to return home after their shifts because the family members they live with have compromised immune systems. The facilities can accommodate up to 12 people.
In addition, our own sisters in the health care field continue to serve on the front lines. We have sisters lending a hand in whatever way they can — cleaning, making masks, giving virtual spiritual direction, and so on — both on the east and west coasts. During Lent we had retired sisters at Assisi House making sandwiches for St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia as well as sisters making food at the Ministry of Caring in Wilmington. The sisters at the motherhouse have taken up a collection during Sunday liturgies to help families in need in addition to donations provided by the congregation.
Our sisters ministering at our sponsored and cosponsored ministries are chipping in to help as well. Approximately 75-85 guests arrive weekly and are provided with bags of food at Anna’s Place in Chester. Bags include canned goods, breads, fresh fruit and fresh baked cookies which come from a gentleman who bakes twice a week so every bag has fresh cookies. Neumann University also continues to reach out in a variety of ways.