2021 – Full of Hope
2021 has certainly flown by! It’s been 15 months since we closed down in March, 2020, because of COVID-19. Despite the quarantine and isolation, 2021 has been a year full of joy and hope.
The excitement started on January 10, 2021, when Residents, staff and Sisters received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Looks of relief and happiness shone on everyone’s faces as they received the shots of protection.
COVID did not stop us from celebrating the various holidays that came up. The Activities staff made room to room visits to the Residents, bringing holiday snacks and beautiful gift bags from the Board of St. Francis Auxiliary for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter, and flowers for Mother’s Day.
Finally, as the positivity rate in Philadelphia kept decreasing and as we finally had no positive cases, at the end of April we were able to lift some of the restrictions. What joy there was as the Residents filed into the dining rooms after over a year of eating in their rooms and apartments! The beauty shop was reopened and the hairdresser’s schedule was filled with appointments. But best of all, relatives of the Residents were allowed to come in for short, scheduled visits. There were such happy, loving reunions. The restrictions were lifted just as the warm spring weather had started, so Residents took advantage of sitting outside, taking walks around the grounds, and enjoying ice cream socials.
With COVID settling down, the transfer of Sisters, originally scheduled for Spring, 2020, could now take place. We sadly said goodbye in June to Mother Catherine, Sr. Bernadette, Sr. Amy, and Sr. Patrice, who in their vow of obedience went to their new assignments at other Homes.
Shortly thereafter, we joyfully welcomed Sr. Maria Catherine, supervisor of the skilled nursing unit, and Mother Celine Therese, our new Mother Superior. A large group of Residents, staff, and Sisters warmly greeted Mother Celine when she arrived. The next day, Mother Celine wasted no time in going around meeting the Residents and staff and presenting them with a bag of cookies.
Finally, all conditions were favorable for us to have an outdoor picnic on 4th of July! We hope things continue to improve on the COVID front, that more people will be vaccinated and everyone still practice infection control measures, such as wearing masks and sanitizing hands, so that life can get back to “normal!” May God bless us all and keep us healthy and safe.