Volume 8.07 | April 13, 2020
In this Issue:

Easter Greetings from Leadership

Virtual Holy Week

On the Front Lines of COVID-19

Corporate Responsibility

Celebrate Earth Day and Laudato Si with FAN
In this time of social distancing, churches have been finding new and innovative ways to share this Lenten Season. Here, Sisters Kathleen Stagnaro and Joan Carberry can be seen greeting people arriving for "drive-through" palms on Palm Sunday at St. Paul in St. Petersburg, FL.
Easter Greetings from Congregational Leadership
Easter Greetings! Congregational Leadership, though physically distanced from our sisters at the Motherhouse, shared their signs of love as they gathered outside the dining room windows to wish everyone a Happy Easter! Though we may be physically separated, our hearts, prayers, and hopes are strongly united. 

We are grateful for the great care our sisters are receiving from the Local Leadership and the Motherhouse staff. We are also thankful for the delicious Easter dinner provided for us, by the Motherhouse, to take home and enjoy. Obrigada! Gracias! Thank you!
On the Front Lines with COVID-19
By: Judith Terrameo OSF
As a chaplain at Mount St. Mary's Hospital, Lewiston, NY, I have the opportunity to be actively involved with patients on the front lines of the coronavirus epidemic. As of this week a large tent has been placed in front of the hospital for triaging patients who would normally enter into the emergency room to ease the number of individuals needing serious medical assistance versus those who have minor issues. 
Currently our 6th floor has been designated as a "Red Zone" for patients who have been diagnosed with coronavirus or patients who are waiting on test results. We have 13 patients on the floor. The nurses and other healthcare workers are heroes, willing to place themselves in harm's way. Because of the contagion on this floor we must get fully dressed in protective gear - gloves, special gowns, two masks (N-94 and a regular mask over it), and goggles. I visit the floor twice a day, primarily checking up with and supporting the healthcare personnel. However, I walk down the hallways and step inside patient rooms that have open doors to offer a prayer and/or blessing.
The hard part for the patients on this unit is how long it takes to get test results. It has been taking 5-7 days to hear if a patient's test is positive or negative. Those who test positive, and are medically stable, are transferred to St. Joseph's Hospital in Buffalo which has been designated as a Coronavirus Hospital for Catholic Health. Those who test negative are discharged and sent home, if medically appropriate for discharge. We are clearly in need of more testing with quicker return of results. 
This is a very difficult time for our healthcare workers. Yesterday, I was talking with a nurse who was crying because she cannot see her grandson on his 1st birthday. Another nurse told me that she no longer kisses or hugs her two young children for fear of passing the virus on to them. Some staff are exhausted working 12-13 hour shifts and then have to go home and help their children with school work that needs to be done and sent into their teachers. The greatest fear among healthcare workers is contracting the virus and bringing it home to their loved ones.
I work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday-Friday and from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday so that I can connect with both the day and the evening staff. The evening staff are often the forgotten ones, but I know they too are having a difficult time during this epidemic.  
The days are long for our patients, as they are not allowed visitors, needed medical tests are postponed, and all surgeries - except for emergencies - are cancelled. Last Saturday, I was working for a couple of hours and we had a death in the ICU. The patient died alone, unexpectedly, because family could not be present. Afterward, only the daughter was permitted to come into the room. The granddaughter, who was exceptionally close to her grandfather, had a very difficult time because she didn’t have the opportunity to say goodbye to him. It was a very painful moment for the family, for me, and for the staff. This will be the case for many other fragile patients and their families in the next few days and weeks.
Please keep our healthcare workers in your prayers, that God keep them safe; as well as our patients who are seriously sick and for their families who must remain separated from them.
Virtual Holy Week
By: Margaret Magee OSF
This will be a Holy Week to remember! There are certain events in life - like the assassination of John F. Kennedy or the attacks of 9/11 - that people can immediately recall where they were when they heard the breaking news. I have no doubt that this Holy Week and Easter will be remembered in the same way because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of us took part in virtual celebrations of the Easter Triduum, through our local parish, our diocese, and (for many of us) with the friars at St. Bonaventure University. Virtual Triduum was not the most ideal way to participate and celebrate yet, with the need for physical distancing, it was the most sensible and practical for everyone’s health and safety.

In this time of ambiguity, I’ve been reflecting more deeply on the experience of the disciples of Jesus and can begin to comprehend in a new way their experience of Christ’s passion and death. Their sense of fear, the need to shelter and to hide from the crowds and horrendous events that were taking place with the crucifixion of Jesus, were real. I can understand and appreciate in a new way their sense of uncertainty of what life would be like in the future.

We are all living with these feelings, yet we know that the events of Jesus’ passion and crucifixion did not end in death. New life and resurrection conquered the doubt and darkness! We know that this pandemic will also end and we will arise. The question will be how will we arise from this experience and what will we have learned? How will we live differently? 

Let us continue to celebrate this sacred Easter season in true hope and expectation of the new life Christ gives to us each day. Life has truly changed, not ended. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Corporate Responsibility
By: Gloria Oehl OSF
A statement we signed on to as Franciscan Sisters of Allegany NY is summarized below:

March 25, 2020: ICCR (Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility) and others just published an  Investor Statement on Coronavirus Response  calling on companies to support their workers and stakeholders during the pandemic.

Included in the statement are suggestions asking companies to consider steps they can take in particular: to provide paid leave, prioritize health and safety, maintain employment, maintain supplier/customer relationships and financial prudence.

According to the statement, companies “have invested in their workforces and will be well served by having retained a well-trained and committed workforce when business operations are able to resume.” The statement also points out that “board directors are accountable for the long-term human capital management strategy” of their firms. 
The fact that 195 institutional investors representing $4.7 trillion - from public, union and faith-based funds as well as global asset management firms - were able to coalesce in the span of less than a week to support this statement is testament to the importance of these issues to the investment community.
You're invited! Join FAN to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and 5th Anniversary of Laudato Si together!
Because we aren't able to have our in-person gathering at Ecumenical Advocacy Days ( EAD), the staff at Franciscan Action Network (FAN) has decided to have a virtual check-in with our Franciscan friends whom we typically see in Washington, DC as well as anyone who is interested.

We invite you to join us at the time when many of us would have been together in Washington D.C. and reflect on the vision of Saints Francis and Clare.
Our Zoom video call will be held on Friday, April 24 at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT.  You must register to be on the call .

We have invited Sr. Joan Brown OSF, Executive Director of New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light. She is a Franciscan Sister of Rochester, Minnesota. Sr. Joan will connect us with the theme of EAD weekend, which is “Imagine, God's Earth and People Restored.”   We will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and 5th anniversary of Laudato Si together!

Don’t forget to register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Hope to see you all there!