Seven nuns die of Covid-19
The second wave of Covid-19 has claimed the lives of seven Sisters of the congregation of the Daughters of St Francis in Port Shepstone in the diocese of Umzimkulu, KwaZulu-Natal.
All died between December 10 and 18. Reportedly, 14 other Sisters at the convent are critically ill.
The first seven to die were Srs Elmara Skhakhane, Leonissa Nzimande (78), Colleta Msomi (78), Anastasia Mthetwa (86), Amara Madlala (75) and Edmunda Nkomo (80).
Srs Elmara and Leonissa have already been buried. Ss Colleta, Anastasia Mthetwa and Amara were being buried today in Port Shepstone.
According to Southern Cross sources, there has also been an outbreak of Covid-19 in the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary convent in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal.
“At a time and season of Advent hope, this certainly comes as a deep wound to the Church, the congregation and the [bishops’] conference at large. This is a very painful reminder that the scourge of Covid-19 is yet to lessen its devastation to communities and society at large,” said Sr Nkhensani Shibambu CSA, president of Leadership Conference of Consecrated Life SA, in a statement.
She urged “all religious congregations and communities to be extra vigilant and cautious in light of the deadly and subtle second wave of the pandemic. None of us is immune to this pandemic. In the absence of a vaccine, we remain our own best defence against the virus, and the least we can do is to continue adhering to the safety protocols of Covid-19 prevention and containment especially as most people and communities gather for the celebration of the festive season and beyond”.
In June this year, the Precious Blood convent in Mthatha lost several Sisters in a Covid-19 outbreak.
Earlier this month, Norbertine Brother Neil Hahn died from consequences of Covid-19.
“Our prayers go to the Daughters of St Francis and all religious congregations and personnel infected and affected by this scourge,” said Sr Nkhensani. “May the souls of the Sisters, the religious and all the faithful who have lost the battle to Covid-19, through the mercy of God, rest in eternal peace.”
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