An update from Area Co-Chairs, Cece and Mike Donoghue.
As we continue to navigate through COVID-19 together, we would like to take a moment to share our deepest gratitude and appreciation for all of our members! We are incredibly moved by all of the ways the Connecticut Area has come together, while remaining physically apart, in such compassionate ways to support each other and our community, especially the poor and the sick. Since the pandemic hit the East Coast, our members have come together to help those most in need in the following ways:
• For 11 weeks, we have prayed the Rosary via ZOOM daily for the first few weeks and then, more recently, Monday – Thursday for an end to COVID-19, for the healing of all those who suffer with the virus and for the healthcare workers caring for those who are suffering.
• Since the onset of the pandemic crisis, our Area has prepared more than 2,500 Grab & Go meals for the homeless and food insecure at Thomas Merton Center, New Covenant Center and Room To Grow. We still need volunteers to help!
• Order of Malta volunteers have sent nearly 1,000 hand written notes and homemade cards to patients suffering from COVID-19 and to the healthcare providers working tirelessly to care for COVID-19 patients.
• Area Members came together and made “Check-In” calls to every member of our Area to make sure everyone was doing okay and to ask if anyone needed assistance.
• Many of our CT Area Members were also instrumental in making the Lourdes Spiritual Pilgrimage happen during the early, most difficult and chaotic days of the virus. Liz Tamarkin, Hope Carter, and Kristy Snyder in particular worked tirelessly with the New York Office in making sure that there was a pilgrimage for American Association members and, most importantly, for our Malades and Caregivers to participate in.
It’s humbling to read the bullet points above and know that each act of kindness was extremely genuine and came from such eager, willing hearts. We are especially proud of and grateful for our many members who are essential workers and volunteers, running into the fire each and every day as healthcare providers, hospital chaplains, pharmacists, shelter volunteers, and so many others who have been forgetful of themselves and sharing their gifts in a deeply human way during this pandemic.
As we look ahead, your safety and the safety of those we serve is a top priority for us. In the coming months we anticipate that we will have to navigate even more changes ahead as the state opens up and we continue to learn new recommendations and guidelines from healthcare experts, our local government and our diocese. For the time being all of our Order of Malta gatherings and some of our hands on work continue to be cancelled. We are pleased to inform you that the American Association is graciously providing a virtual Feast of St. John the Baptist Mass on Wednesday, June 24th, celebrated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral by the Association’s Assistant Principal Chaplain, Msgr, Robert Ritchie, GCChC.
Thank you again for all you have done during this most difficult time to help the least of our brothers and sisters! We look forward to a time when we will all be able to come together again and celebrate with each other. Until then, God guide and guard you all and keep you safe from harm.