Providing Support and Prayers During the Pandemic

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In April, when the pandemic lockdown was starting a second month the Archdiocese of St. Boniface recognized there was a need to reach out to people feeling isolated and anxious. The plan was to provide a telephone hotline that people could call to talk to a friendly, compassionate person at the other end.

Volunteers for this listening service were recruited from various religious congregations, including from the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Sisters Cathy Laviolette, Yolande Marion and Carmen Catellier responded to the invitation. Sister Cathy describes her reaction:

“COVID is real!  In prayer I said to the Lord … Show me how I can serve during this lockdown time! The phone rings!  Diane, one of the coordinators from the Archdiocese of St. Boniface is on the line. “Cathy what do you think of this idea … setting up a roster of Compassionate Listeners for those who are isolated, anxious or needing to talk to someone.  Would you be available?”

What a great idea, I say, and yes, I am available … and I am sure other Holy Names sisters would be too.

Diane explains that she has also asked other communities to join in this effort.

So, I contacted two of our sisters, Sr. Carmen and Sr. Yolande to join in this endeavor. Within a day or two, flyers were posted here at Despins Residence and in all the seniors residences in the area. Another way to be attentive to the needs of our times!”

The Compassionate Listeners outreach service launched April 21st. Sisters have now spent one month talking to strangers in need, offering comfort, friendship, and prayers.