‘How many of us will be left?’ Catholic nuns face loss, pain


Sumary of ‘How many of us will be left?’ Catholic nuns face loss, pain:

  • Https://apnews.com/article/us-news-greensburg-coronavirus-pandemic-prayer-40553351d838e164f6db122c6e54aa9d GREENSBURG, Pa..
  • Prayers for the sick went unanswered, prayers for the dead grew monotonous and, their cloistered world suddenly caving in, some of the sisters’ thoughts were halting..
  • And as sisters emerge, there is a wrenching grief over their losses and a nagging need to know what it all means..
  • She’d arrived 26 years earlier in Greensburg, where the convent is tucked in a complex with a nursing home and the seven sisters occupy tiny rooms on a spartan hallway with a communal bathroom in the center..
  • For swaths of time, she served as local minister, a house mother of sorts who both helps direct the logistics of community life and gently guides a family of sisters in their spirituality..
  • At Christmas, she’d fill cloth sacks with simple gifts like towels and shampoo, and when a new sister arrived, she scurried to make them feel at home..
  • When Sister Amala Jose, who is 44, came from her native India, Labik excitedly welcomed her and added mangoes, ginger paste and habaneros to the shopping list..
  • As the pandemic unfurled its brutality, Labik sounded motherly notes of caution, reminding sisters to wash their hands and buy more sanitizing wipes, even when they’d barely put a dent in their supply..
  • And when sisters at the convent in Livonia, Michigan, began being rushed to the hospital last March, she couldn’t hide her alarm, scurrying to share the troubling news..
  • On Good Friday, Sister Mary Luiza Wawrzyniak became the sisters’ first casualty in Livonia, a blow that landed with stunning intensity for the women who’d known her for decades..
  • said Sister Nancy Marie Jamroz, 79, who had known Wawrzyniak since entering the convent and was one of her closest friends..
  • On Easter Sunday, it was Sister Celine Marie Lesinski, a teacher, organist and librarian, and Sister Mary Estelle Printz, who put aside an early life working at Chrysler to take her vows..
  • Then, Sister Thomas Marie Wadowski, who relished a game of canasta and telling of her second-grade class that won a contest to create a Campbell Soup commercial, and Sister Mary Patricia Pyszynski, who taught in 13 schools across Michigan in six decades as an educator..
  • Among hundreds of communities of Catholic sisters, the Felicians have neither the ubiquity of bigger ones like the Salesians, nor the singular focus of those like the School Sisters of Notre Dame, nor the repute of women following in Mother Teresa footsteps in the Missionaries of Charity..
  • Confined to their rooms as they desperately tried to stop the spread, the sisters cracked their doors in the morning to collect breakfast trays..
  • Sister Mary Alice Ann Gradowski, who as a principal could be seen cheering, with fierce loyalty, in the bleachers at basketball games..
  • And Sister Victoria Marie Indyk, who led mission trips to Haiti where she insisted students fill their luggage with clothes and medicine and toys going to the hemisphere neediest..
  • Some sisters lost someone they’d known since they were teenagers, or with whom they had shared a home for decades..
  • As the end neared again and again, they couldn’t surround their sister, grasping her as they recited the Hail Mary, its final words pregnant in the weight of the moment:.
  • Sister Mary Danatha Suchyta, the brilliant student who entered the convent as a seventh-grader and rose to become a university president..
  • As some convents remained locked down, the Greensburg sisters were able to maintain a semblance of normalcy in their small convent, walled off from most visitors but finding joy in their rhythms of gathering for meals and for the daily bookends of religious life — morning and evening prayers..
  • In the living room, she came to relish the game shows other sisters introduced her to, and in the kitchen, her voice would drip with tongue-in-cheek judgment in an ongoing debate on hazelnut coffee vs….

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