The following words were spoken to the Residents of one of our Homes in Spain. A Police Lieutenant with his colleagues, delivered medical supplies, gowns and masks to the Home:
"You are part of a generation which has experienced more difficult things than us now, and yet you have overcome them, and all that we have today and what we are is thanks to you, so we are in debt to you and all together we will fight day after day to protect you who are our grandparents, Thank you very much and a police hug"
Our Homes in France, Spain, UK and USA have been effected by the pandemic with a number of deaths among Residents and the deaths of six Little Sisters.
Here are some wonderful stories of generosity, collaboration, the Providence of God and all the good that is often hidden in the human heart but manifests itself in the time of crisis.
IRELAND: On Mother's Day in Ireland, the Little Sisters thought how nice it would be for the Residents if they had a bagpiper to play around the outside of the Home. Less than an hour later, without knowing the Little Sisters' idea, the human resources manager called, saying that she had just seen on Facebook the announcement of a man living in the neighbourhood who would be happy to play the bagpipes around a retirement home. The same afternoon, the musician was there and hopes to come every week!
SPAIN: As the coffee ran out, the Mother Superior expressed the need to ask for this product if there was a call among the many people who are interested in us in these times of pandemic. What a surprise it was when around 12:30 pm, Paco, manager of "Café Santa Cristina", called saying: "Little Sisters, these days, when I look at the picture of your Foundress that I have in the dining room, I think that maybe you are lacking coffee, so in a few days I will send you 200 1/2 kg packages. We cannot help repeating with our Founding Mother, “Blessed be God,” with a heart full of gratitude to so many people who think of others
FRANCE: Schools that usually came to our house write to residents every day. A resident asks each morning if there is mail from the children. We "spiritually sealed" the front door of the house with an image of Divine Mercy. We pray the Rosary and the Rosary of Divine Mercy in the halls every day now. The Residents sit at their door and one of them leads the prayer.
USA: We also pray more with the staff and they really appreciate it. At the request of our Archbishop, four times a day everyone is asked to stop for a moment and pray together. Employees stop reverently, bow their heads and pray fervently. Many thanked for including their families in the prayers.
A resident was praying in front of a statue of Saint Joseph last night. I came by and said, "Good night!" She replied, "I was just telling Saint Joseph that it was the best day I have had in a long time. I used Skype and visited my family in Germany!" She hadn't seen them in a long time and it was such a joy for her. Our host never thought of using Skype before - the pandemic is expanding our horizons!
The parish priest of our parish uses group SMS to tell his parishioners what we need and they were great at responding! Schoolchildren send cards, a quilt club makes masks for us, everyone brings us food and other products, it's very touching. Our income is very low at the moment..
A volunteer, who usually assures a poetry and writing group for the Residents each week, came to drop off 15 plastic bags, marked with the names of the 15 Residents who very much like to participate in this weekly activity. In each bag, there were 20 pre-paid envelopes, addressed to the name of the volunteer, 3 small notebooks, index cards, a pack of small envelopes, a pen, crayons and a pack of poems for the week. A letter invited the Residents to read and reflect on the poems, then write their thoughts and send them in one of the stamped envelopes. The cards and small envelopes were intended to allow the Residents to exchange among themselves. It goes without saying that the Elderly were very happy to receive, each, their name bag! and they await with joy the reception of the famous "package of poems" for the following week…
And still in USA: The grandson of a Resident came to greet his grandmother in a very innovative way… Since he is a firefighter, he came with some colleagues in their truck and he went up to her window at 4th floor in a basket to talk to her and tell her how much he loves her! It was a real surprise for his grandmother and a bonus for the whole house! They laughed well together, because she told him to cover his ears because it was cold!
On St. Patrick's Day, the elderly had their meals near their open bedroom door, and music was played in the hallway. They were very happy with this innovation which changed a little from the everyday monotony.
France: The Residents miss visits, which are prohibited, and the Little Sisters use the means of remote communication: telephone, email, Skype, etc. to supply.
The doyenne of one of our houses, aged 110, was very surprised to see her granddaughter appear on the screen of a tablet and looked behind the device to see if she was hidden there!
Peru: An admirable fact of solidarity: Eight employees offered to stay confined with the residents to help the Little Sisters day and night. Since there are no extra beds, they sleep on mattresses on the floor.
A 90-year-old person used to walk a kilometer every day to the local cafe. Unable to go out anymore and not to lose the habit of walking, she goes around the garden six times, stopping each time in front of the Virgin and Child saying to her "Virgin Mary, you only need to raise your little one finger and your son Jesus will stop this pandemic, so what are you waiting for? "