When the supply of protective masks at Marian Woods Convent became dangerously low, there was great cause for concern. Although orders for disposable masks had been placed well in advance, great demand due to the Coronavirus pandemic has caused long delays in shipping. Without these protected masks, the 50 retired Catholic Sisters in residence at Marian Woods and the staff that serve this at-risk population could be more vulnerable to the disease.
“Although we are observing all of the recommended actions to control the spread of this virus such as hand washing and social distancing, without the extra protection masks provide, our community could be placed at greater risk” said Executive Director, Sister Aileen Donovan, OP.
When Marian Woods’ Healthcare Coordinator, Shellie Carlson, RN, spotted a sewing pattern for protective masks on the Facebook page, The Stitching Scientist, she proposed the idea that the Sisters, many of whom are talented sewers, make masks for the Marian Woods’ community. “I knew the Sisters, who show so much love and concern for one another and our staff would gladly take on this project,” says Ms. Carlson.
Under the leadership of Marian Woods' Recreation Coordinator, Mary James, the Sisters began production of the masks in the Convent’s recreation room, which is already well-equipped with sewing machines and fabric. On the first day of work, a preliminary supply of masks was produced. The Sisters will continue work until enough masks are made to accommodate the entire community.
“It was such a wonderful idea to engage our Sisters in this project. We often refer to the Marian Woods community as a circle of care. This circle which we thank God for, includes our Sisters, staff and leadership boards, and that care extends not only to one another, but to our surrounding community and beyond where our Sisters engage in many volunteer projects to help those in need. These women have dedicated their lives in service and support of others, so making these masks would be their natural response,” says Sister Aileen.