Franciscan Sister’s Correspondence During Covid-19 Crisis

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Kathleen Murphy shares on the current situation at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Greenwood, Mississippi.

This morning’s news reported that Greenwood will be the first host of a drive-thru testing station in the state. This seems to be due to the fact that our Leflore County has 18 confirmed cases and now 2 deaths in the county. Our hospital has set up a Covid-19 unit separate from the normal ICU. They have 4 patients there, 3 of which are on ventilators presently.

For us, Sisters, life continues with our new normal. We are generally the only ones in the school building. Mrs. Lewis comes and goes and it seems that maybe our cafeteria manager and assistant may be coming in to cook food from the freezer for the general community.
Days now begin with a live streamed Mass celebrated in the friary, followed by reception of Holy Communion. We are then off to school where we are planning and gathering materials for our daily Zoom meeting class sessions. Each of us is doing 2 sessions per day.

We received return work from our students on Friday and unpacked them yesterday, having given them time to sit in a confined tub so as to let germs die. Now we have LOTS of work to correct and grade.

Unfortunately we have not noticed any slowing of traffic passing on the highway right outside of our house. We also have a grocery store right across that highway and customer traffic seems to be about the same as ever.

To our knowledge, only one church continued with services. We pray that they will be safe!

Our friars are live streaming daily and Sunday Masses, Stations of the Cross, Bible class and weekly reflections. Most of these are done in both English and Spanish.

As the class bells echo down our empty halls and the grass grows higher on our playground, as the church bells continue to ring over empty pews, we feel the absence of our school and parish communities.

We keep you all in our prayers that God’s protective hand will shelter us according to His will!