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Friars in New York offer Mass outside for isolated religious sisters

The Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal

The Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal | Facebook | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 01/20/21

... and their reason is beautiful.

Over the last year many religious have lost their lives due to COVID-19. In a recent report from Aleteia it was revealed that in Italy alone in 2020, one priest was succumbing to the virus every one and a half days. Religious sisters have also been badly affected, with one convent reporting that 104 out of their 114 members had caught the virus. While part of the reason is that some of these religious were elderly, another is that they were determined to continue to respond to their calling in the midst of the pandemic.

So when a couple of sisters tested positive for COVID-19 at the Sisters of Life convent, the whole community had to self-isolate. Thankfully their brothers at The Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal found a way to ensure that the sisters were still able to attend Mass, albeit from behind the security of the convent’s windows.

On hearing the news, the friars sought permission to celebrate Mass in the gardens of the convent. For two weeks, friars from two local friaries held outdoor Mass for the isolating sisters. At the end of the isolation period all the sisters were reported to be doing well.

The friars explained in their Facebook post why they went to these unusual lengths: “Because it’s written on our priestly hearts that when the Brides of Christ want Jesus, we’re going to do everything we can to give them Jesus.”
The friars talk more about the outdoor Masses in their weekly podcast.
If you’re interested in discovering other ways the clergy have risen to the challenges of the pandemic, click on the slideshow below …

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