Prayer Sustains Us

If ever there were a time for deep, unrelenting prayer, surely it must be in the present moment.

As the pandemic continues its dark rampage, our Sisters at Mount Notre Dame, though confined to their rooms, are praying from deep in their hearts. They are praying for all the world in its suffering.

The cruel nature of this virus prevents us from surrounding one another with love. We cannot offer personal presence lest we spread the contagion. The circle of love, patience and sacrifice extended to us and that we in turn so desire to bestow upon others - is now short-circuited. Family cannot be with family in the hour of trial. There are no goodbyes. The hand of a stranger is the last hand held.

Prayer, however imperfect, is a way to mend this broken circle. Deep, ongoing and passionate prayer. Through prayer, we form communion with our other Sisters, we form communion with you, and we form communion with all the suffering world.

Too, and as we are able, we continue our ministries. Our Sisters are taking phone orders for Sister Judy Tensing’s catering ministry, which provides job skills to adults who before had few if any.

Sisters are meeting in virtual prayer groups with young people, including Notre Dame Mission Volunteers. Sister Margaret Campbell in Arizona, no longer able to visit inmates in prison, is instead writing them long and heartfelt letters.

Sister Esther Onditi in Kenya, though unable to restore pre-pandemic education to students in her rural school, is making do as best she can with an outdoor tent. Sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo are continuing to bring clean water to families and children that cholera, dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis don’t layer on top of the pandemic.

Yes, things are rearranged – for all of us. But still we push forward. In the French Revolution, mobs searched for St. Julie. In the Second World War, bombs destroyed our convents. And now, this terrible pandemic has breached our doors.

But we have prayer. Prayer sustains us. Through all manner of calamity, still there is the communion of deep, uniting prayer.

With this letter, we ask that you join us in this prayer. And that you continue to support us financially as we weather this storm and as we help others engulfed in its winds. Your support, as has always been true, is a message of hope. It lets us know you walk with us as we lift up those suffering most in these current perilous times. It lets us know that you believe, as we do, in the mystery we celebrate every Easter – the new and fuller life the Resurrection promises all God’s people.

We pray for you; please pray for us also.