By Linda Bordoni
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski’s visit to the Daughters of St. Camillus in the Alban Hills and to the Congregation of the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul in a Roman suburb was to bring Pope Francis’ closeness and affection to the religious, some of whom have tested positive to the new coronavirus.
The Almoner of the Office of Papal Charities took cartons of fresh milk and yoghurt produced by the Pontifical Villas in Castel Gandolfo, just outside Rome, as gifts for the isolated communities.
News of Krajewski’s gesture was reported on Monday in a Vatican Press Office Statement that said both communities have been put into isolation since last Friday because many of the nuns in the two communities have been infected by Covid-19.
Cardinal Krajewski, the official papal almsgiver, is the man who performs works of charity on behalf of the Pope himself, and is always on the frontlines of giving and sharing with our brothers and sisters most in need.
The press release said a donation was also made to the Pope John XXIII Home for the Elderly in southern Rome, run by the Sisters of Charity. The Home was placed in quarantine after two caregivers tested positive for the virus.
Italian health authorities
Italian health authorities in Rome’s Lazio region confirmed that 59 religious sisters belonging to the two convents had tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, 40 of them belong to the Daughters of San Camillo convent in Grottaferrata, and 19 are from the Angelic Sisters of Saint Paul convent in Rome’s Via Casilina, which currently houses 21 sisters.
An investigation has reportedly been launched into how the infections came about.
The San Camillo convent specifically cares for young students and elderly sisters. Speaking to the Italian bishops’ conference newspaper Avvenire, Sister Bernadette Rossoni, general postulator of the Daughters of San Camillo, said that overall “we are fine,” and that three of the 40 infected nuns are hospitalized, while the others are not showing serious symptoms and are at home in the convent.
She said the religious are facing the situation with great serenity” and pointed out that the guests who stay in the convent have no contact with the sisters who have tested positive for the new coronavirus.
Those sisters, she said, remain isolated in their rooms, with meals left outside their doors.
“On the bright side,” Sr. Bernadette said, the sisters are nurses, so “we are prepared to face health risks and take care of the sick.”