This picture of Sisters Raphaela and Paz represents the most serious photo that was taken of us at Norfolk. Needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. This past weekend, Sr. Paz and I attended the annual gathering of Under 55 Benedictine Women in Norfolk, Nebraska. The Missionary Benedictines of Norfolk hosted our meeting. More than fifty women, from eighteen different communities across the U. S.
Last week Sister Dorothy wrote about care of the sick from the point of view of the caregiver. She quoted The Holy Rule of St. Benedict which places the greatest importance on caring for those who are sick. On a Tuesday in June I began to feel unwell. The healthcare team advised me to move to the infirmary. I watched as my sisters got the bed made and the room ready for me.
In the Rule of St. Benedict, we read in Chapter 36 that care of the sick comes before and above everything else. It goes on to say that if the sick need special privileges, they should be given them. The sick person should not be demanding, as though the world circles round her; but even if she is demanding, those doing her care should be patient and kind.
I had intended to talk about my preparations for my First Monastic Profession in this post, but some fortuitous events changed my topic. This is the story. On Thursday, June 15, I felt a little tickle in my throat after Mass. After that I read on our community bulletin board that one retreatant tested positive for COVID and was in the hospital—for other medical reasons. Anyway, I decided to be very cautious and take a COVID test.