COVID-19 and Newfoundland, Canada

Submitted by Sheila Leonard, PBVM

Snowmageddon NL 2020 in January was a time like no other!
Pandemic 2020 in March so soon after … again a time unfolding like no other!

What would Nano have us do, how would Nano have us be amidst Covid-19?
2020 … or perhaps, 20/20 … calling our world to en-vision a new way of being present.
A new depth of “Presentation Presence” to one another and in mission emerging…

 “If I could be of service … I would gladly do all in my power …”
An invitation to Zoom in differently on our lives, on our ministry! Zoom itself a timely gift!!

In “Songs of the Journey,” poetry by Raphael Consedine, PBVM, Australia, 1977, we read:
Profile: Nano Nagle
In the face of fear, she chose to be daring.
In the face of anxiety, she chose to trust.
In the face of impossibility, she chose to begin.
… she held fast to hope … she believed in a living future,
and a programme for that future, she gave in one word, LOVE.

2020 would see loving-kindness take on new depths of expression all around the world. “In this together” perhaps unlike any time in our planetary evolution!

Echoes of “Go out, for need calls loudly,” so deeply Presentation, have now been replaced by a new refrain: “Go home and stay in your bubble,” protecting especially the most vulnerable.

Those at our motherhouse are rallying together in face of new Covid-19 policies and protocols. Something as simple as the timing of our new motherhouse phone system the same week of our “lockdown” brought its own challenges and especially for those for whom the phone would now become the key avenue for connecting with others, personally as well as for ministry, the two intimately intertwined.  With need still calling loudly, that holds true throughout our province as well. Meanwhile, our already highly valued motherhouse prayer ministry has taken on new momentum! Amazingly “In this TOGETHER” even more so “from a distance”!

We are constantly attentive to realigning staffing needs, modifying visiting practices, sensitive to the needs of our sisters, and especially our sick and their families and close friends, as well as to safety.

With the recent untimely death of one of our sisters, and with great sensitivity, our team enabled us to share by video in a virtual vigil to remember her and celebrate her life. It was very comforting.

No longer able to gather in groups, many of us, with grateful hearts and for some also a daring sense of adventure, have taken not just to our phones, but also to our computers and to Zoom. Happily, through Zoom many could share our April 4 IPA Solidarity Prayer and Circle of Light.

Our provincial leadership team work from their offices, as well as home, sometimes connecting on Zoom though next door! Zoom meetings abound for ongoing board meetings relative to our corporate ministries, engagement with other collaborators and congregational networking.

Our Newfoundland and Labrador Province is deep into preparation for our Provincial Gathering 2020, including elections. Our planning committee also avails of Zoom in our ongoing collaboration with our facilitator, with travel out of the question indefinitely.  Our preparation timelines keep expanding and our assembly dates keep shifting with the times, now tentatively set for late October.

At The Lantern, our spirituality center, we have been able to keep our doors open to staff in the on-site Ruah Counselling Centre to enable them to still confidentially connect with clients by phone as their lives and time allow. Wholistic classes offered by one of our sisters are now offered from home by Zoom, allowing her also to engage in leading live sessions as part of a “Global Healing and Awakening in the Covid-19 Era.” Echoes of Nano ring true … “If I can be of service in any part of the globe …” though now in ways Nano could not have envisioned.

Our Virginia Water Contemplative Centre offerings have shifted to Zoom as well, including a Global Healing Response Circle. Labyrinth Finger Walking, initiated for Earth Day, is now a weekly Zoom offering, facilitated by one of our associates, continuing a 20-year local labyrinth walk. She will also be leading a six-week heart-centred mindfulness practice thanks to Zoom.

Following a Lent like no other, in the middle of Covid came Easter with its promise of new life! On a lighter note, coming up to Easter, our provincial government had assured all the children and the little child in us all, that the Easter bunny had been declared an “essential worker”!

Amidst their intense planning, preparations and policy reformulations in the ongoing care of our sisters, our management team at our motherhouse (wholistic care, human resources, health care, housekeeping and maintenance) gave us all an Easter surprise! “We thought everyone could use a chuckle so we put together this Video for all of you in the hope it puts a smile on your face. Wishing you a Happy Easter and we pray for all good things as the Spring unfolds. Hugs to each and everyone of you!!” Click Here to enjoy!  May it put a smile on your face also!

Streaming LOVE and WELL wishes your way and all around the globe!