Card ministry begins

A new card ministry sprang up this fall when COVID forced our elderly Sisters to stay locked behind closed doors.

Mason Pointe Care Center in St. Louis is home to 22 Good Shepherd Sisters and two lay women who are elderly. The facility is on renewed lockdown due to an outbreak of positive tests for COVID-19. Sisters must stay in their individual rooms and receive meals there.

They are not allowed visitors, other than staff to check their temperatures and administer medications. Father Chocol has not been able to celebrate Mass for the Sisters in weeks. Good Shepherd Sisters and lay women in other elder care facilities are in the same situation.

“While we appreciate necessary precautions, we also realize the strain of isolation and schedule disruption,” said Sr. Dolores Kalina.

Sister Dolores listened one day to Sr. Sharon Rose Authorson talk about her experiences in lockdown. The conversation made Sr. Dolores think: if Sr. Sharon Rose — who has many contacts from being on committees and in leadership with the Contemplatives — is feeling the strain of isolation, then surely other Sisters must be feeling the same way, especially those who have few contacts and don’t have smart phones and computers.

Idea turns into card ministry

That’s when an idea struck her — a card ministry!

She sent an email to everyone in the province, inviting people to correspond with a mission partner who is in lockdown. Sister Dolores kept track of those who signed up to ensure nobody was left without a companion. She said, “There has been a real awakening of the issue and wonderful outpouring of support. Our elderly Sisters and lay women are now receiving a continuous stream of letters and cards. It is delightful.”

Read about the Sisters’ move from Immaculate Heart Convent to Mason Pointe at https://sistersofthegoodshepherd.com/move-makes-headline-news/

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Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette is the Communications Coordinator for Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America. She is a career photojournalist who has served in various capacities of print, broadcast, and corporate communications. Jeanette is devoted to creation and is particularly focused on saving pollinators and other wildlife species and their habitat. She is an ethical vegan and created the website veganstoryteller.com