Dear Sisters and Benefactors,
Loving greetings to you and your family from all of us, the blind girls/young women, the staff and housemothers and from Sister Theresia and I.
As of today, we are all experiencing some form of quarantine due to CoVid19 pandemic. At Margaretha Home, we tried as a family to use this opportunity to reach out to the victims and front-liners of CoVid19 through prayers and in any possible ways we can.
Early this month, our Parish Priest came on his way through our Parish to Margaretha Home with the Blessed Sacrament. He blessed all of us by the gate and we also asked Jesus to bless you and all who continue to love, care and support us during this challenging time. It was a very grace filled moment for us to have Jesus come to bless all of us.
Every afternoon this May, we pray the rosary with songs for “Mama Mary”, and each of us offers flowers. Each one makes paper flowers since we cannot go out to get fresh flowers.
On May 14, our Holy Father asked for a day of prayer, fasting and work of charity to offer to God during this pandemic time. At Margaretha Home, we all sang and prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet. The girls did not have their “merienda” or snacks, and instead, with their own workshop money saved, they bought snacks and packed them for the poor children in our area. With the help of our staff and housemothers, we also packed some rice for poor families.
We also had lots of fun time during these quarantine days. On Mothers’ Day, our blind girls/young women honored the housemothers, staff and the sisters by presenting a great fun-filled program with games, songs and dances. They prepared everything themselves. (I just helped by providing for the things they needed).
We took the opportunity to teach our Margaretha girls more household chores and activities. They learned to wash their clothes better. They have more time now for cooking lessons. They learned, how to cook different Filipino desserts and how to sent and to serve food.
Aside from the usual daily scheduled activities in Margaretha Home, the spiritual and psychological needs are also taken care of. We scheduled different catechism classes, scripture sharing, counseling, group sessions about CoVid19, understanding of quarantine, communication under stress, etc. To help to release the tensions of our staff and housemothers for not being able to go out, Sister Theresia and I met with them in the afternoons for various activities like playing Filipino games (piko), watch videos, play online bowling, karaoke singing, bingo game, guessing game or just to sit around and share about their childhood or family stories. We tried to keep everybody occupied and entertained, since they, too, miss their families in their own home provinces.
In spite of this CoVid19, we are able to attend our Sunday Masses on TV and remember you in our prayers. However, on May 17, we were able to ask our friend priests (Fr. Jay, AA, Fr. Elmo, MJ, Fr. Denis, Fr. Lawrence, Msgr. Ding) to pray for you and your family during their masses at their respective convent chapels and parish churches. We would like to continue to express our gratitude to you for all your goodness, care, and love extended to all of us always. Let us be united in prayers, and may God bless us all during this CoVid19 crisis and, please, stay safe.
News from Manila during the time of Covid 19
Sister Maria Dolores sent some photos and wrote: „Jesus came and gave us His blessing. Our street was blocked off but Father walked to our Margareta Home and blessed us with the Blessed Sacrament."
"On May 14 we joined Holy Father in the day of prayer, fasting and work of charity against Covid 19. Our blind girls and staff fasted from merienda, we prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet singing, and for charity the girls and staff bought snacks goodies with their own workshop money to be given to poor children. We also shared rice with 6 poor families."
Dear Sister Adalberta,
Loving greetings to you and your family, especially during this challenging time of lock-downs due to Covid19. Please know that you are remembered often in our prayers. Although we do not have Masses in our Margaretha Home Chapel, we still pray for you in our on-line/TV Masses. Aside from our Easter Sunday Mass, our Mass on April 19 was offered also for you and your family. Know that we are together with our Risen Lord to bring His life of LOVE and HOPE to all.
Here at Margaretha Home, we are all safe and well, thanks be to God. The Enhanced Community Quarantine is strictly implemented here. Even our small street is now blocked off for cars, motorcycles or bikes and also for pedestrians. Since we are locked-out with our blind girls/young women and staff, we are kept busy with many programs and activities to help alleviate the fear of everyone. In this email, we will share with you some things that we did and do together, not just for Margaretha Home, but also for the front-liners and victims of CoVid19. We hope that you will have time to read our somewhat lengthy mission update email this month.
The Lenten Rice Bowl offerings of Margaretha Home were shared with five poor families last Easter Sunday. Because of the quarantine situations, they received rice, canned goods, candies and soft drinks.
On Palm Sunday, we had the blessing of the Palms in the garden of Margaretha Home (by Sister Theresia), followed by a procession and the on-line Mass in our TV room.
During Holy Week we had “Pabasa” – chanting of the life narrative of Jesus from his birth to Ascension. Our girls had Braille copies, and to the Special Blind the text was dictated for them to repeat. We also prayed the Stations of the Cross in the afternoon during Lent – every day one Station.
During the Easter Triduum celebration, we followed all the services live on TV. Thank God, the Easter Triduum coverage on TV was well done.
We had our Easter Vigil Mass with FB live streaming of our Parish Church Liturgy with our Parish Priest as the celebrant in Margaretha Home Chapel. We had our great Easter dinner of fish (MHB girls’ favorite) and the Easter egg hunt in the afternoon.
Loving greetings to you, Sister, on this feast of Mother Pauline. Our feastday greetings are coming earlier this year because of the activities that we have scheduled for the feast of Mother Pauline.
We are truly blessed to have her as our Mother. She will indeed intercede for us during these days and will pray for all of us, as we all continue to strive to live Christian Charity.
On Wednesday, April 29, we will give a good amount of rice and a roasted chicken to five poor families in our area. These are the same families with whom we shared the Lenten Rice Bowl” last Easter Sunday.
During the feastday, we will have a Mass of Thanksgiving via TV at Margaretha Home. We will all be united in the Eucharistic celebration and will pray for you. A benefactor will provide our lunch of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken). Our girls love KFC, and so this is a special treat for all of us. In the afternoon, we will cook Spaghetti and pack about 40 boxes of “Spaghetti Merienda”. Our blind girls will prepare the forks and spoons with table napkins in individual bags. These, together with bottled water, will be given to the military soldiers in our corner streets (5 stations). They patrol the area well, since we are in a very strict Enhanced Community Quarantine.
Like Mother Pauline in her great love for the poor and the needy, we hope that, what we will do, will enlighten the hearts of our girls to give and share with joy without waiting for anything in return.
Once again, Happy Feastday. We will be together in thanking God for the gift of Mother Pauline. We will pray for you, Sisters. Please remember us all in yours. God bless us all, and let us all stay safe! Take care, Sisters.
MHB Blind Girls and Staff
Sister Maria Dolores
Some news to share to lift up our spirit from our Margaretha Home girls and staff!
Our Quarantine here in Quezon City is really very strict. Remember, LABOR HOSPITAL, the government hospital down the street, it has many positive cases, and so the streets are blocked off. In Camerino St. (street of our parish church) is also a positive case. We do need to pray more and be careful to be safe.
One of our benefactors sent a professional company to disinfect the entire Margaretha Home and the convent units.
The other day, our girls and staff thought of the military group guarding our streets, 24 hours – 10 soldiers in each station. (in Burgos Street and J.P.Rizal Street- our 2 corner streets). We cooked spaghetti merienda (snack) and gave it to them with bottled water. We are happy to know, that our girls really think of other people also, not just for themselves.
Since our rice storage has enough rice, we packed some rice in bigger bags for the poor, since many people have no work, so no daily wages, so no food.
We had an on-line Mass at Margaretha Home Chapel on the feast of St. Joseph and prayed for all the Sisters and benefactors.
We are kept busy with many schedules of activities. Our MHB girls also came over to the Convent and slept over in 2 groups of 9 (2 housemothers or staff and MHB girls) for couple of nights.
We continue to pray for the victims and care-givers and workers of CoVid19. Our Lord and our dear Blessed Mother, with Mother Pauline and St. Joseph, will continue to help and support us in all our needs. God bless us all!
Sr. Maria Dolores