The coronavirus disease claimed the life of another nun of the Religious of the Virgin of Mary (RVM) this week, said the congregation in a statement on Friday, October 8.
“We may have our own version of 911 in our 337-year history — with 11 Sisters leaving us for the next life in a span of 14 days (from) September 13 to 26,” read the congregation’s statement signed by Mother Ma. Corazon Agda, RVM superior general.
Sixty-two nuns and 52 lay personnel have tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-September, forcing the facility to lockdown.
Those who contracted the disease were all from the St. Joseph Home, a separate building inside the compound that houses the elderly and the infirm.
The statement did not mention how many of those with COVID-19 have already recovered but Mother Agda said that “many of our sisters are not exactly out of the woods just yet.”
For the congregation, the COVID-19 outbreak that hit “the most protected and sheltered” community in the compound is “one of the most distressing experiences” in the convent.
The sisters, meanwhile, said they have found hope in the bleakness. They particularly thanked those who showed them “kindness, compassion, care and concern.”
“Without you, we could not have faced our grief and walked through the dark. Your support has seen us through one of the saddest moments in our history,” said Mother Agda.
“You are all the heart and hands of God made real,” she said.
Your words and actions are testimonies to God’s working through our lives, through people — men, women, and children— like you who care,” added the nun.
The Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary, the oldest and largest Filipino Catholic religious congregation, was the first all-Filipino religious congregation for women in the Philippines, founded in 1684 by the Venerable Mother Ignacia del Espíritu Santo.
A congregation of a mixed life, it aims at personal sanctification and perfection mainly through offering Catholic education to youth and catechetical instruction in parishes, along with offering spiritual retreats for lay women, running dormitories, and caring for the sick in hospitals.