Community life in a COVID world
Francis Barnes, the First Assistant General of our Society, became a refugee in our community as he waited for the opportunity to travel back to Rome. He would have liked to go out to visit some of the Malls in Cebu, but this was not possible due to quarantine controls. Bonaventure Gubazire continued to finalise his Doctoral Dissertation, which he successfully completed in October 2020. He is now at home in Uganda with his family.
Boris Yabre, appointed here primarily for studies, continues to move toward completion of his studies and hopes to finish next year. Luisito Poe prepared his visa papers that will allow him to travel to Canada at the end of this year to follow a course. He is now anxiously waiting for approval of his visa. Sergio Villasefior, the bursar of the community, did his best to keep our cupboards full so we could enjoy good meals. He also worked hard in our vegetable garden. Paul Johnston worked on rearranging our library in preparation for the new academic year and getting himself reacquainted with the formation house and the beginning of a new academic year. John Gould, our Section Superior, kept things moving with the often-difficult administration of the Section. He was unable to travel to India as originally foreseen. Our students eventually went home for a holiday and returned to start the new academic year under not so normal circumstances. Currently, they are following on-line classes, which may or may not continue into the second semester of the academic year.
As a community, we prayed together and celebrated daily Mass together. We prayed in a particular way for the people around us who were suffering in one way or another from the COVID Pandemic. Some of us kept ourselves moving with evening walks around the village, while others moved their bodies playing table tennis.
A few evenings per week, we had recreation. We celebrated anniversaries and birthdays. In many ways, community life is what has helped us during this time of the pandemic.
These days, life around Cebu is returning to some sense of normal (or as some say … the new norm). Life is returning to the streets of Cebu. Some “jeepneys’, the local transportation, are being allowed to move once again, which will be a relief for the people. Most of the shopping malls are open, but with certain protocols, like face masks and face shields, in place. For our community, outside Masses with some of the congregations of sisters have restarted. We have also had some Masses to mark special occasions with a select group of friends.
COVID19 has changed our world! COVID19 has challenged us! However, COVID19 will not defeat us!