2020 Lenten Snapshots
During the 2020 Lenten season, we’ll share the work of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur from around the world. We hope you in turn will share their work with your family, friends, students and faculty. If you are interested in the Lenten Handout, please click here. Click here for the Lenten prayer card.
LENTEN SNAPSHOT #6
This 2020 Lenten season, a global health crisis has emerged unlike any we've ever seen in our century. So, during these last two weeks of Lent, we’ll share updates from several of our missionary Sisters who have written home about their situations.
As we've been told, one of the most important things we can do to help prevent the spread of coronavirus is to wash our hands. Imagine how difficult it must be for our Sisters and those they serve who don't have access to clean water to perform this task.
We hope you will share this Lenten Snapshot with your family, friends, students and/or faculty by email. Please know that you are in the Sisters prayers.
Last week, Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Carol Wetli sent several updates on how the Sisters in Nigeria are handling the pandemic. Here are excerpts from her emails.
March 24, 2020
I am currently in the Postulate House in a village in the middle belt of the country but will return soon to my community in Ilorin, close to the western border with Togo and a bit farther north. We are being told that the virus has still been contained in Lagos and Abuja. Both cities were infected by visitors from Europe and the U.S. though no one has yet died from it.
So far, the only change I notice around here is that some people are becoming more aware by trying to avoid handshakes. Other than that, life seems to be going on as normal. Church services continue with daily Mass, adoration every day during Lent from 5-6 pm, and Stations of the Cross 2x/week. Last Saturday at the Cathedraticum Mass, people were packed in the pews like sardines, and yet the Bishop told us just to bow to one another for the kiss of peace. A university about an hour from us dismissed its students last Friday in the middle of exams, while the teachers appear for work daily and are tested on entering. It has been rumored that the virus prefers a cooler environment. We are currently in the 90s everyday with high humidity, and our rainy season began in full force on March 1.
Many people do not even know the meaning of quarantine or, even less, self-quarantine. How can quarantine be managed in a village with a dense population and small houses all close together? There are so many diseases here with fever — Lassa fever, malaria, typhoid, and meningitis. Lassa fever is currently very high in our state, and we had our compound sprayed some time ago. The sanitation people came the next day to collect all the dead rats they could find. People are used to working and moving around, even with fevers.
Pray that Nigeria will be spared. With more than half the population of the U.S, crowded geographically into a country about 1 ½ times the size of the state of Texas, with limited medical care, we are very vulnerable.
March 25, 2020
Schools have been closed. Some high government officials have tested positive after they or their relatives returned from Europe. On top of all that, a man who had tested positive in Lagos attended a social event where hundreds of people were gathered. The virus is now in 6 states with a total of 46 cases. If we stay in quarantine here in the Postulate, we are 13 postulants, 3 professed sisters, a sister visiting until after Easter, and myself. So you can see I won't be bored. Our compound is large, quiet, and beautiful. Pray for us as we learn how to socially distance ourselves from others as all of you have been trying to do for some time.
Lots of love.