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Religious Communities during the time
of COVID 19

Submitted by: rgsphil
On: 06/04/2020

From Global Sisters Report: The COVID-19 pandemic upended sisters' ministries, requiring strict policies to protect the most vulnerable, forcing cancellations of congregational and regional gatherings, and changing prayer practices, fellowship, dining and funeral services. Weeks into the crisis, the coronavirus poses another challenge: How do sisters keep a sense of community in a time of social distancing, stay-at-home orders and quarantines?


Religious of the Good Shepherd, Province of Philippines-Japan

The Religious of the Good Shepherd in Quezon City was holding its first chapter meeting March 16-22 (originally scheduled March 18-27) for the newly merged province of Philippines-Japan as COVID-19 restrictions were imposed globally. Provincial chapter meetings, held once every six years, provide time for prayer and planning for the next six years, including election of new leadership. With travel restrictions already imposed on Italy, congregational leadership from Italy could not attend, and sisters from other regions in the Philippines and Japan also couldn't come. The delegates who could attend elected new leaders.

"All throughout our gathering from the chapel, to the session halls, we observed social and physical distancing," Sr. Regina Kuizon, the outgoing province leader whose term ends in June, told GSR in an email. "Our Eucharistic celebrations were limited and the singing of Mass service songs were avoided."

Communion service and common prayers are now in small groups, she wrote. The sisters gather for holy hour or adoration in small groups or alternate in the bigger chapel for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

"Our prayers go for the frontliners and those who perished, those who are grieving the loss of their loved ones," she wrote. "And we continue to pray that women and children wherever they are, even in their own homes, are safe and have not experienced any form of abuse during this time of COVID-19 and lockdown."

(by Ms. Ceres Doyo for Global Sisters Report) 

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