Spring / Summer 2021
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
When John Donne wrote the poem with the above title, he had no experience of Covid-19 and the millions whose lives it took. But his inspired poem speaks to every age and every death whether one or many. The immense and alarming numbers of this pandemic are frightening and no country, no age, no race, no ethnic group has been spared. Harmful as it has been, it has invited us to compassion and unity, love and care. To hear only numbers of those who have died is somewhat impersonal and easier to dismiss. But each one who died had a name and was made in the image of God. Even if we did not know any personally, the poet John Donne said it well: “Each man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind.”
We had a very unexpected and personal experience of death this past December. Sr. Mary of the Heart of Jesus (Davin) entered our Carmel and transferred to Barrington Carmel which is now closed. She and Sr. Sue came to bring us some of their archives for safekeeping. They stayed for lunch and we had a delightful visit. Two days later we received the shocking news that Sr. Mary had died in her sleep. We are still dealing with the reality of this untimely death which was not heralded by any signs of sickness to prepare us for it. Kyrie eleison.
We are not launching a spacecraft or a ship. What we are launching is a new web site! It was warranted because too many could not access our former website with the new apps people are now using. A long time in the making, it should be ready for access when you receive his newsletter. We hope you will not only like it, but also find it nourishing for your mind, heart and spirit.
HOPING FOR A CATCH
Our “monastery boat” is in the waters hoping and praying for some vocations. We see possibilities swimming around nearby, and some even nibbling, but nothing in the nets yet! Pray with us, as we do every day, that the “Spirit of Jesus will stir the fire of HIs love in the hearts of those He is calling to our Carmel and give them the courage to respond in love.”
In various and sundry ways and in different places and times, we all managed to get vaccinated! That cleared the way for getting back to doctor’s appointments and procedures that have long been on hold. One Sister had successful cataract surgery, and we are back to scheduling the usual health exams. As has been well broadcasted, the doctors and nurses are the new heroes of our time. They have worked so hard with Covid-19 patients, risking their lives and sacrificing themselves beyond the call of duty. When the Boston Globe was inviting people to write in appreciation of nurses, one of our Sisters accepted the invitation…..and her letter was accepted to be printed! Sr. Eileen Mary wrote in appreciation of Margaret Gallagher, a nurse at Tufts. This nurse is truly an exceptional and outstanding woman who has helped Sister in so many, many ways and Sister’s heart just could not be silent about her goodness. We were all so happy her letter was chosen to be printed! It was a little gem!
ANOTHER STEP FORWARD
As we continue overcoming the pandemic, another step taken was welcoming our externs back to help answer our door and phone! Slowly, and as possible for them, they are returning to offer their services to you and to us. God bless and reward them!
AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR
We originally had 8 fish in our pond, koi and goldfish. In November we lost 5. We have no evidence to blame Covid 19, and we have no clues about why they perished. But we sure are glad that we didn’t have to say, “And then there were none!” The survivors are doing well and seem happy and some new ‘members’ have been added. They add a special presence in our garden.
LESSONS FROM A POT
A watched pot never boils, the expression goes. We have quite a story to add to pot literature. It is about a pot that is not watched! This is what happened. One of us put some eggs to boil on the stove. Then it was forgotten. The water dissolved, the pot burned, smoke filled the house, the fire alarm went off, the eggs exploded into smithereens all over the kitchen and, last, but not least, the fire engines came to put out the fire! The blessing: there was no fire. The lesson: it is better to watch a pot than to forget it!
DID YOU SEE US?
You may recall our talking about a video being prepared about Roxbury and we were asked if we would take part in it. We agreed and the program was shown on CHRONICLE, late last fall. The creator, Anahid Terrence was originally from the neighborhood and did a very positive presentation of Roxbury which often gets bad reviews. It was a special gift to be invited to be part of this creative production. May it produce the good fruit of hope and help eliminate some of our prejudices.
Those born from 1997 on are called Generation Z, and called Zoomers. Well, it seems that even if you were born before then, all of us have become Zoomers because of the pandemic. Zooming webinars, school courses, family visits has become quite ordinary. The pandemic has opened new doors, ideas and challenges to us all. It opened a new experience for us. One of our priest friends who was teaching a course on the Liturgy of the Hours, asked if we would be willing to zoom our Evening Praise one night for his class. Well, it seemed like a good idea and possible, so we agreed! We had some technological difficulties, but they were overcome and all went well including the question and answer period that followed. All involved were happy with the experience and God was praised!
SOMETHING WORTH SEEING
We were introduced by another priest friend to a series called: THE CHOSEN. It was offered free on you-tube, but now one needs an app to tune into it. It is the life of our Lord according to the Scriptures and is superbly done. It is rare for something of this nature to be so applauded by the millions who have already viewed it. The producer wants a billion people to see it! In our world where Christian values are so threatened and endangered, this is an incredibly creative, inspiring and moving series that is so worth viewing. Spread the word!
MARY AND THE EUCHARIST
Since Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is on the horizon, we close with this thought from one of our Blesseds, Maria Candida of the Eucharist: “When I receive Jesus in Communion, Mary is always present…… I cannot separate Mary from Jesus. Hail, O Body born of Mary. Hail Mary, dawn of the Eucharist!”
With our love and prayers,
Your Carmelite Sisters of Boston