Christmas Message from A Maryknoll Sister
2020-12-23 10:25:46 作者：Sr. Betty Ann Maheu，MM 来源：信德网
May this beautiful season of Christmas bring you
the blessings of joy, peace and health throughout the coming New Year!
Editor's note: Christmas is approaching, everyone will receive electronic Christmas blessing messages from friends. This is a Christmas e-mail message from Sr. Betty Ann Maheu, a Maryknoll Sister, to us and her other friends from northern New York. In the past, Sister Betty Ann served in Hong Kong for many years, assisting Cardinal John Tong Hon as English editor-in-chief of Tripod. At the present, nearly a hundred years old, she is still doing well with a clear mind, good health and abundant joy. This year, even after having come to the convent’s home for the elderly, she not only still prays every day , but also is busy with writing...Through this elderly Sister's sharing, we can see how the Maryknoll Sisters are piously praying, courageously living, working, serving and seeking for development, as well as calmly facing difficulties and even death in the midst of pandemic! With Sister Betty Ann's consent, we would like to publish her Christmas greetings to the readers and take this opportunity to wish her a long and healthy life, and to wish all the Sisters, clergy and faithful everywhere safe and happy! We also wish friends from all walks of life a Merry Christmas and Blessed Happy New year!
The year 2020 started very much like any other except that we, at Maryknoll, were preparing for our General Assembly, a meeting held every six years only, to assess the “health” of the Congregation, to set goals for the future, and to elect our leadership for the next six years. The younger members of the community had come from all over the globe to get to know the congregation better and each other better. The older Sisters were busy with special workshops analyzing the complexities in religious life today occasioned by changes in the world in which we live.
Suddenly, we were confronted with a reality, a power we had not counted on, the corona virus or covid 19, a pandemic that would change the way we look at the world, the way we come to realize our vulnerability and how we understand the mystery of God and of life. I had lived through SARS in 2003 in Hong Kong, I realized this was different. Our best laid plans for our General Assembly fell apart completely, but very quickly the Sisters became adept with virtual meetings, and experts on the Zoom.
Meanwhile, things were not quiet in the house. One Sister fell one night and went to the hospital. Shortly after a second fall, she returned to the hospital again where she died. The Sister in the room opposite her in the Residential Care Unit fell ill and died. A third one died. The whole section went into quarantine.
We buried our dead but were not able to have any funeral Masses or any Masses whatsoever. The Maryknoll Fathers, who service us regularly, were also losing their men and were under quarantine.
The photo here shows how, at one point, we had a special celebration for our Sisters, who had died—not all from the virus— but during a relatively short time period of time.
It was also at this point that my arthritic hip began to give me serious trouble. I went to our clinic for a consultation and ended up in our “infirmary,” where I have been ever since.
I will be 98 years old on January 9th. It is not easy to come to terms of reality after my very active and healthy life. Obviously, I am on borrowed time. I can only be grateful to God for this wonderful, long and fruitful life.
I hope that soon the world will return to some semblance of normalcy, that we will not have to keep six feet apart and that we can greet each other with a real and not virtual hug. Let us also remember the many who have died, many alone, and the many loved ones they have left behind. Let us also remember to pray for the United States of America during these troubled times.
May 2021 bring you and your families the blessings of health and peace.
Sr. Betty Ann Maheu, MM
Sr. Betty Ann and her friends visited Jinde Home for the Elderly, Shijiazhuang, China, Oct. 22, 2003.