Letter from St. John in Montana, 08/2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Since the middle of March we, in the novitiate community, are mostly totally confined to the convent and only the necessary errands are made. Doctor’s visits, shopping of groceries or the pharmacy, and after the lockdown also the hairdresser. The rest of the time we occupied ourselves within the convent walls. At the beginning we thought we had lots of time available but that was not the reality. For me my computer has been organised, and cleaned from all the unnecessary objects and papers. Movies were watched and there I found the Episode “The Chosen”. There has been more time for prayer and reflection. Reading a novel or spiritual book became a daily routine.

Others in the community became engaged in preparing zoom community prayer to enable others to participate, Jerusalem community members and the sisters who live alone, like in Krakow or Ireland. The house is receiving a good clean and all the unnecessary things are distributed and given away. The Garden is full of a plentitude of fruits which God seems to have given us during this Pandemic. There where plums, peaches, strawberries, pears, apples and now grapes. Compote has been made, as well as jams for the different Sion communities in Jerusalem.

In the vegetable garden tomatos and cucumbers, pees and kohlrabi keeps our meal table fresh and healthy. Now during this second wave of Pandemic in Israel the workers benefit from all this as well.

The Kehila day-care centre and the Orphanage enjoy the weekly box of grapes which Father Roman brings them after our weekly Eucharistic Celebration with him.

Life has become busy again in spite of the Corona virus outside the convent wall, and sometimes I wonder how did we fit in all our activities like volunteer work and wandering around in Jerusalem etc before the Corona Virus. Zoom encounters, skype meetings and sharing with friends and family via (which is an opensource and Europe based alternative to zoom without time limits) has become the new social encounters – a way of asking how everyone is. Technology has become a way of relating and encountering others.

Retreats are offered via zoom as swell as courses in continued formation. Sion centres also make sure that Knowledge is updated and learning is happening. To some extent I, Juliana enjoy this new way of learning as well as being able to participate in a course on Spiritual direction, and deepening biblical knowledge. We all become little experts using our iPads and Computers in our Community prayer time and sharing’s.

Learning via internet has been a big surprise for me in this time of the Corona virus Pandemic and a way to be even more conscious about the environment. The fact of not needing to fly anywhere in order to meet and participate in a continued Formation course or meeting is a blessing! Not to forget all our Birthday Celebrations happened during the summer months and lockdowns and we were able to enjoy and laugh with one another.