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CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES – EBOLA VIRUS

J. Lawrence, CND

My dear Sisters, I am writing to you today with a heavy heart. I have been reading many of the news reports about the Ebola virus, as I am sure most of you have been. However, there was a news report in the NYT today, 10/10/14 about a mother who went into preterm labor at 8 months and delivered a little girl. She continued to hemorrhage profusely after delivery and was brought by her boyfriend and parents to 3 different hospitals before she was seen where she died. She was just 36 years old and died in the absence of compassion or tenderness. We cannot blame the caretakers or the health care providers because they too are afraid of catching the virus and dying themselves. This is the new leprosy and the infected have become that person on the road where people are afraid to come to his/her aide. What can I do? I find myself crying out to Jesus asking this exact question. I trust that He is there with them and is here with me in my tears. But how does this really help those beautiful African men, women and children? I spoke with my field educator in the midst of my feeling so helpless and powerless to do anything. Of course I pray for an end to this insidious disease and pray that the world continues to respond in need. But what can I/we do?  I am asking each sister to donate $10.00 to Catholic Relief Services. I know that this seems to be so little money in comparison to the cost of providing protective gear, medicine, and fluids for hydration. But this small amount can possibly buy one protective suit so that one mother/father can care for their child and hold them tenderly in their arms while their child dies. Jesus hears the cries and He is asking us to help. To be a disciple for me means to look at the misery and to respond to it. Pope Francis tells us that we need to touch the dirtiness of the poor and those that are suffering. Since we are unable to be with them physically, we can at least make a small difference for those that are there. The mother above was named Diana. Her little girl, also named Diana by her father, died 3 days later and was buried with her mother. May we continue to pray for our fellow brother’s and sister’s who are suffering in the face of an unrelenting enemy. May we also continue to give thanks and praise to a God that instilled in our hearts a love for our neighbors across the ocean.  God bless us, and our African relatives. May they feel the love of Christ in the midst of their tears and know that it is not only Jesus that loves them that we love them and will continue to hold them tightly in our hearts.  Sr. Janet Lawrence,  Catholic Relief Services—look for Ebola Website on www.catholicrelief.org  Call 1877 435 7277 - Catholic Relief Services - PO Box 17090 - Baltimore, MD 21297-0303

 

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