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Wednesday, 27 November 2019 21:00

Sr. Clare and the Sick

 Sr. Kelai

Sr. Kelai Reno:   Sr. Clare didn't want the patients to miss Mass, so we went to their rooms and brought them in their wheelchairs. Sometimes we even took the patients' entire bed to the chapel because the porters had not put them in the wheelchair.

Sr. Kelai Reno continues to recall memories of Sr. Clare and her service at the Military Hospital of Valencia, Spain. It's heartening to imagine Sr. Clare going from room to room, forgetting herself in order to bring true joy—of knowing one is loved by God—to the sick. And you can't help laughing when you imagine Sr. Clare dragging a bed through the hallways of the Hospital so that a sick person wouldn't miss Mass. She was something else!

I spent many hours with Sr. Clare at the Military Hospital of Valencia, visiting and bringing Communion to the sick. We spent the whole morning, until lunchtime, at the hospital. Sr. Clare was an apostolic soul. She wanted to bring joy to others and bring them to God and Our Blessed Mother. We visited the rooms of the sick, but we also talked with the cleaning personnel, porters, nurses, the social workers, and the people who came to visit their relatives. Her personality encouraged people, especially young people, to open up and feel comfortable with us, who otherwise had probably never thought of talking to nuns.

To brighten up the patients' day, she learned songs on the guitar. She would spend a few minutes here and there, trying to learn songs that the patients knew so that they could sing along. She went through the hallways to let the patients know that we were going to the day room to sing and said, "Why don't you come for a poquet?" She said "little" in Valencian, making an effort to learn some words in their dialect to help the patients feel at home and make them laugh.

The hospital’s chapel was a very, but it was always closed. It had been so for quite some time, and it was nearly impossible to re-open it. Because of Sr. Clare’s insistence we got them to open it once a week to celebrate the Eucharist. Even so, often when Mass time arrived, the porters wouldn't take the patients who could not go by themselves to the chapel. Sr. Clare didn't want them to miss Mass, so we went to their rooms and brought them in their wheelchairs. Sometimes we even took the patients' entire bed to the chapel because the porters had not put them in the wheelchair. Sr. Clare encouraged them to go to Mass and to confession. Some went to confession after many, many years away from the sacrament, and began receiving Communion daily.

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