The Carmelite Sisters’ updated response
Praised be Jesus Christ! First and foremost, the most important thing to say at this time is to express our DEEP gratitude to our family and friends for your loving support and prayers. Your continued outreach to ensure that we are “doing alright” as well as offering your assistance has been a great blessing for us individually and as a community. We are a family, and as family, we do watch out for each other.
We would like to note for you some of the many kindnesses that you’ve sent our way:
- Many many assurances of prayers
- Masks made for our co-workers
- Gifts of food and supplies given to our nursing staff
- Donations given even in this time of great personal sacrifice
- When our initial live-stream efforts were struggling, we had our good friend, Tom Weir at Studio City Sound, send us sound equipment with another friend, Carolyn, buying us a tripod!
- Offers of shopping on our behalf
- Food donations!
The list does go on indefinitely. THANK YOU! Due to the fact that we live in community and that a number of our sisters are older or have underlying health issues, our larger convents have been self-quarantined for almost a month. Your kindnesses really do mean so much to us as we continue to provide service to our residents, students, families, and retreatants.
In our world today, there is a deep hunger to experience peace. There is a void within each of our hearts which we are constantly seeking to fill. Our primary mission as Carmelite Sisters is to foster the spiritual lives of all those who come our way. Separate from our corporate apostolates (healthcare, education, retreats) there is much work done in the realm of social media. It is the “place” where millions of people “gather”. Currently, about 60,000 people “follow” us. This service of feeding the soul is a space that knows no boundaries and will always have an unlimited audience. During this Covid-19 life struggle, literally, thousands of people have reached out to us seeking solace, seeking God. We have heard stories from countless people letting us know how we have helped them change their life, or how their experience with us has brought them closer to God. For this, we also praise God.
Dear friends, we thank you. We love you. We are praying for you. And together, we walk ahead one step at a time, in faith, trusting in the good Lord’s loving providential care for us. God bless YOU.
Our Response Letter on March 19, 2020
Praised be Jesus Christ! Even as we face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, we remember the words of our Mother Luisita: “Let us bless our good God for all and everything! He loves us very much and disposes everything for our own good!” We follow her lived example and place complete trust in God. However, the reality remains, we are being impacted by this terrible virus.
Because you are part of our Carmelite family, we want to share with you how we are responding within our community and in our apostolic centers. We also plan to keep you posted as updates happen.
Our healthcare facilities, Marycrest Manor and Santa Teresita Medical Center, as well as Avila Gardens, are daily implementing updated recommendations from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which include restricting all visitors and non-essential healthcare personnel. The Avila Gardens 20th Anniversary Luncheon, scheduled for April 18th, and the Mother Luisita Dinner fundraiser for Marycrest, scheduled for April 24th, are also cancelled.
Our diocesan schools in California, Colorado, Arizona and Florida, following directives from their respective dioceses and school districts, are either closed, or are exploring ways to continue instruction remotely. Our Hayden Child Care Center has closed its doors through April 3rd, and cancelled the 12th Annual Hayden 5K which had been scheduled for this past Saturday, March 14th.
Our Sacred Heart Retreat House and St. Joseph Campus are closed at least through Easter Sunday, April 12th, with all weekend and day retreats on both campuses cancelled through April 5th, as well as the St. Joseph’s Night fundraiser which was to be held on March 29th.
Our Friends of Carmel fundraiser event in Miami, scheduled for April 4th, has also been cancelled. All these are precautions to prevent the spread of disease in our communities.
As Carmelite Sisters, prayer and contemplation are our primary duties, and by our religious consecration, we offer our whole lives for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. This reality comes into stark relief in times such as these, when the human family comes to realize that we are exactly that: a family in which one’s suffering affects the whole. By the same token, as each of us turns to our Heavenly Father in trusting prayer, we bring healing throughout the body.
Many of us might feel helpless and fearful during the uncertainty of this crisis, yet as Christians, we know that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us” (Rom. 8:37). Indeed may we truly know His love for each of us, for all those we love, and remain united in prayer that our hearts may be open to this mysterious way in which He is drawing each of us to His own Sacred Heart. Know of our love and heartfelt prayers for you, dear friends!
In the Heart of Christ,
Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles