The sisters are requesting donations for “increased expenses for medical care, medical supplies, proper medical grade cleaning services,” and other new necessities related to the virus.
Also in Ossining, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers have been similarly stricken by the pandemic. Since the start of April, 10 priests of the order have died. Two had tested positive for COVID-19, and the others were experiencing symptoms of the virus.
There are 123 Maryknoll priests living in New York, nearly half of the order’s 288 total priests.
Fr. Raymond Finch, the superior general of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, told abc7NY that 15 others had been tested positive for the virus, with three in “very serious condition.”
The Missionaries of Charity, who have a home in the New York City borough of The Bronx, have lost at least two sisters to COVID-19. The Missionaries of Charity did not respond to CNA’s request for comment in time for publication.
The Missionaries of Charity were founded by St. Teresa of Calcutta, and are known for their distinctive white-and-blue saris.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, posted a video on Twitter on Tuesday, April 27, describing his experience attending the burial of two Missionaries of Charity the previous Saturday.
“Two things stuck out,” said Dolan, apart from the sadness of the loss of two sisters. Despite the risk of contracting the virus, Dolan was impressed that the sisters had continued on with their charism of serving the poor, and, additionally, he remarked that one of the sisters who died from the virus had been one of the founding members of the religious order.
At the burial service, the “socially distancing” sisters told Dolan that “we still have our soup kitchen, and the poor and homeless come in every day.”
This, said Dolan, was a sign that while physical church buildings may be closed, “the Church is active in its love and service to others, like those brave sisters who are putting their life on the lines.”
Sr. Francesca, one of the two sisters who had died from COVID-19, worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta and was one of the founders of the order.
“We mourn them, we miss those two, but we thank God for the example of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her Missionaries of Charity,” said Dolan.
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