Mary, Mother of God,
through the years your people have called on your intercession in times of epidemic and illness.
We call on you now, as our mother, and ask that you pray for us, that we might find healing and refuge, and a quick end to this time of illness.
Be to us truly Our Lady of Prompt Succor and draw us ever closer to your Son, the source of all healing and consolation. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. Amen.
The pandemic of COVID-19 has affected our monastery, city, country, and the entire world in ways that we had never dreamed possible. We are still seeing untold numbers of adults and children who are sick with the disease, and so our prayers are very much needed. Our Poor Clare sisters have been praying this prayer to Our Lady of Prompt Succor each day at Mass since the beginning of the pandemic. We encourage you to pray it with us.
In the year 2020, we experienced the lockdown along with most of our country. Public Masses were forbidden, but one of our chaplains was able to celebrate his private Mass with us.
On Easter Sunday, we could no longer keep quiet. At noon we sang our hearts out to the Lord on the steps of our monastery for all to hear. A few friends came as well as a few passersby to celebrate with us. In May of that year we were finally able to open our church to others, although with limited seating and mask wearing.
Our Sister Olivia, a resident at Our Lady of Wisdom Healthcare Center, was quarantined along with all other residents at nursing homes. She could no longer receive visitors, but the nursing home found creative ways of visiting. They organized a few "car parades" in which family members were able to participate. We decorated our car and drove around several times to wave to Sr. Olivia.
The COVID virus also affected us personally. In May of 2020, Sr. Elizabeth's sister Jean died of COVID in Boston.
In July our Sr. Julie became sick with COVID and was sick for three months. During this time our public Masses were again suspended. We were finally able to publicly celebrate Mass again in our chapel on All Saints' Day.
Our celebrations of the St. Clare novena and the feast of St. Clare were changed considerably. In 2020, we sent a novena booklet to those on our mailing list so that our friends and benefactors could pray with us at home. The neighboring St. Francis of Assisi parish hosted our Mass of St. Clare, which was also live-streamed.
In 2021, we were able to celebrate the St. Clare novena in our chapel with COVID precautions in place, but the Mass of St. Clare was again celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi parish.