In these days I feel in a special way the desire to connect with you once again.
It comes often to my mind, the exhortation of our Foundress to Angela Bragato who expressed her pain for the death of a Sister: “Courage and again courage”, I believe that even today Magdalene is repeating these very same words to us.
My dear daughter, I rejoice with you that the Lord is visiting you with a cross. Courage and again courage …
(Ep. III/2, letter 1464)
In some infirmaries in Italy the cross “visited” us with the death of some of our Sisters which has greatly saddened us, and we are in pain as some others are still sick. We continue to intensify our prayers for their recovery and the restoration of their health.
Let us also pray for the whole world that in this moment of suffering, pain and loss, the mourning in our hearts will be transformed with courage to face the present with new strength and open itself to a future of hope.
I share some excerpts from the numerous letters received these days while Covid-19 is claiming numerous victims.
“In our country many workers are employed irregularly without permanent work and without any insurance security. With the closure of businesses, they were left without work, without wages, without food and without a place to stay. These brothers and sisters of ours are in urgent need of food and accommodation. In every situation the Lord has a message for us that we must listen to and to which we must respond in some concrete ways to help those who are helpless and in a desperate situation while at the same time, taking the necessary precautions and measures to protect ourselves. We abide by the Government regulations, collaborate together with other religious, the local Red Cross, lay people and governmental organizations to reach out to these poor people directly or indirectly by providing them with the necessary basic needs for daily life.”
“The poorest are the hardest hit since they are street vendors. These days they have no opportunity to sell their products because the streets are empty and they are not able to go out. We continue the activities in our Health Center distributing milk to the poorest and malnourished children.”
“After the invitation of the Association of Major Superiors, the Congregations made themselves available in different ways: they made available the empty convents and schools as there are no pupils present at this time, to host the homeless who are in dire need. The Sisters initiated several projects such as the distribution of food and medicine to those in need. In our two Health Centers of Tondo and Bulihan the Sisters continue with their commitment to the tuberculosis patients who comes weekly to collect food and medicines. In almost all communities, food is prepared and distributed to those most in need.”
All over the world
I am aware that the different situations described above, in which the Sisters rendered their services and help to those most in need, apply also to many of your Provinces and Delegations and where you also witness that poverty and hunger have added to the deaths of thousands of people.
This is our reality today and more than ever it asks us to be “Easter women,” who with prayers and concrete gestures testify that, in the midst of sufferings and uncertainty, our brothers and sisters can walk towards a new life with hope and greater trust in God. For this I wish to repeat to you with Magdalene: courage!
“Courage”, my dear Sisters, you who boldly together with other Organizations are helping the poorest who are left with nothing.
“Courage” to all of you Sisters who serve in hospitals, health centers, in Home for the elderly and aged, in Africa, America, Asia, Australia, Europe
“Courage” to you dear Sisters who in Italy have offered to assist in the communities of the elderly Mothers and where the need is greater.
The love of Christ Crucified and Risen is our strength, it keeps us united, pushes us to work and makes us creative in giving ourselves courageously and generously. In the face of so much suffering, we, all together in some ways, contribute through our prayers and sacrifices in support of the concrete services carried out directly by our Sisters throughout the world, in collaboration with many lay people engaged on the front line.
We are spreading “droplets” of goodness, consolation, comfort, mercy, serenity in the world to mitigate their suffering, make the “Risen” present with our lives and walk the path of Faith and Hope together with our brothers and sisters.
Perhaps this is the most concrete way of announcing that Christ is Risen and celebrating this Easter 2020 with Mary His Mother.
May the Risen Christ bless you abundantly.
With the Sisters of the Council I wish you a Holy Easter.
In communion and affection,