Covid-19 Update: Spain

As of 27th March 2020

It brings us joy to be able to share from the province of Spain with the whole Society. We think that in these times, these gestures touch us deep inside and it is important to experience closeness, concern for each other, and to know of the interest in keeping us all united and informed.

These are worrisome days, and we are especially concerned about our infirmaries and homes for elder care and our elderly sisters; as well as the staff who take care of them and carry out services with a lot of professionalism, dedication, and affection, in spite of the risks that these entail. We have low moments, particularly when some staff show symptoms themselves, or when members of their family get infected -- this means that for reasons of safety and prevention, they are then unable to come to work. We are also getting more and more news of persons close to us who are affected. Two of our sisters, for example, have lost a sister who was married.

We are shocked, we are shaken, we are aware and we are pained by the vulnerable situation of so many people. We know ourselves to be privileged in the midst of it all because of having care, space, company, and above all because of the gift of faith in the Lord that invites us to hope. We remember and we hold close the letter from Barb for the Sacred Heart family that is so fitting for these circumstances.

On the provincial level, we are trying to nurture the space for "circular communication." Each Monday we publish a newsletter called NOS QUEDAMOS EN CASA RSCJ (We Stay at Home, RSCJ), which contains echoes sent by communities about how they are living this situation and what they find helpful in doing this. The iniciative has also arisen to have small communities connect for a while via Zoom in the evenings. It has been a great space that I would say has been therapeutic. We are organizing it bit by bit because we are many in number and at moments it has been chaotic.

Additionally, the formation committee has prepared a series of materials that will go out to communities tomorrow. If you are interested, we could send them to you.

As a council, we meet by Zoom two afternoons a week to have an exchange about the situation of our sisters, as well as other provincial topics that we need to continue to address. We also personally need this space to be with each other. It is another way to care for ourselves, so that we may be able to care for others.

I well understand what Barb said at the end of her message [to the provincials] where she asked us to tell them if they can lighten our burdens. This, too, is what I say to the superiors of infirmaries and homes of elderly sisters, with whom I try to speak frequently.

We are truly grateful for the care and the prayer of everyone. If we can do something for you all, or for the Society, please let us know.

In these times, we give thanks that we belong to the large Sacred Heart family, and we wish that this gift were also an opportunity for the most poor.

María Teresa Alcón, in the name of the province of Spain