Christmas from Liberia

LOVING CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR WISHES
FROM LIBERIA

The Team
Front: L-R: Fatima John, fmm from India, missioned to Liberia, St. Theresa’s secondary school teacher, in the Ebola training team for
teachers in the 28 Catholic schools of Monrovia Archdiocese, Thavaleela Sinnathamby, fmm, from Sri Lanka ,missioned to Liberia,
coordinator of the Catholic HIV awareness program; the HIV trainers are now doing Ebola awareness in the parishes and Catholic
youth groups , Malgorzata Sieluzycka, fmm from Poland missioned to Liberia ,midwife, assisting in the Ebola infection control in the
maternity unit, St. Joseph Catholic Hospital
Standing L-R: Mary Anne Williamson, MD,-coordinator, USA missioned to East Africa and Monrovia, Liberia , Ebola infection
prevention and control teams which are training the health staffs of the 15 health centers and clinics under the Catholic Church in Ebola
diagnosis and safe health care for non-Ebola patients; Barbara Brillant, fmm, RN, USA missioned to Liberia, National Catholic Health
Council coordinator for the Ebola Response of the Catholic Church and Dean of Mother Patern College of Health Sciences;
Janet Arthur, fmm Ghana, nursing student at the Mother Patern College of Health Sciences ; Volunteer Counselor Joann Boenink from
Minnesota, the Director – helping to start the psychosocial response of the Catholic Church to address stigma, discrimination; Evelina
DeGuglielmo, fmm, USA missioned to Liberia principal of St. Theresa Primary and Secondary School, now coordinator of the teams
of teachers doing the Ebola prevention training for the teaching staffs of the Catholic school system
 
      It is a privilege to be able to help here in some way with this Ebola crisis. The UN, WHO, CDC and all the other international NGOs are here to help the Liberian people in their struggle. Everyone is working for two big goals now- to stop the spread of Ebola and to restore basic health services around the country. You can imagine how the country has been affected: people dying leaving bereaved families and orphans, schools closed for more than six months, and everyone afraid to go to the hospitals and clinics.

 

The courage and resilience of the Liberians is admirable. They are determined to carry on, even though they had just started the road to recovery after a civil war.

Our Catholic Church health facilities lost 12 health workers, among the 300 health workers in the country who have died. My role in our Ebola program is to work with our training teams to teach our health workers how to “keep safe, keep serving”, which is the motto of the present national efforts, and how to build up again the basic health service. Sr. Mary Anne Williamson writes:” (This could be info re their roles_With two other Ebola volunteers (Sr. Gosia FMM midwife and a lay counselor from the US), I live in our FMM compound and share prayer and life with our FMM community. Sr. Barbara is the coordinator of all the Ebola efforts of the Catholic Church. Sisters Evie and Fatima have been going with their secondary school teachers training the teachers in the 28 Catholic schools how to keep the children safe when schools reopen, hopefully next February. Sr. Thava has been mobilizing the HIV counselors to go out into the communities to create Ebola prevention awareness.

We ourselves belong to a well-organized team. There is a lot of support and optimism, coming in a special way from our trust that our loving God is working with and through the efforts of the whole world to end this Ebola epidemic and to know what to do, if such a crisis occurs anywhere again.

From our little chapel, where we gain our strength from our Eucharistic Lord, my loving prayers go out for each and every one of you. May this Christmas and the New Year 2015 be filled with joy and hope and may the Lord bring you all that you most desire.

News from Barbara Brillant, fmm

We had a visit with Cardinal Turkson. He came for one half a day and we had the Liberian EBOLA Task Force meeting which I chair with the three Bishops. He was very relaxed and brought a special message from Pope Francis for all of us fighting EBOLA.

He had tea with us FMM and thanked us. He had a lot of questions on the PPE personal protective wear that is so hot and we tried explaining the different types, so Sr. Mary Anne went and dressed up for him.


Ebola Task Force with Cardinal and Bishops

 

 

 

 

 

Sr. Mary Catherine Beadreau, fmm (M Alodia of the Infants Jesus)

Sr. Mary Catherine Beadreau, fmm (M Alodia of the Infants Jesus)
 

    Born: November 13, 1927
    
Pre-Novitiate: December 12, 1945
    Novitiate: June 13, 1946
    First Vows: June 13, 1948
    Final Vows: June 13, 1951
    Born to Eternal Life: December 5, 2014                           

 

Early Years

Sr. Mary Catherine (Cathy) Boudreaux was born November 13, 1927 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the fifth of
six children born to Frank and Frieda Boudreau. She was brought up in the deserts and mountains of
southern Nevada, where the family was often without priest and sacraments for long periods of time. She
attended public schools for eleven years; her twelfth year was finally in a Catholic boarding school in
California.
God’s Call
It was there that she became attracted to the Franciscan spirit and made her final decision to enter
religious life. Cathy was looking for three things before making her choice of a religious community:
Franciscan, missionary and the care of lepers. At that time a magazine of the Propagation of the Faith
came into her hands for Australia to begin a leper hospital.
She set out to travel to Holy Family Novitiate in North Providence, RI. She arrived at the door of the
convent at midnight. Although she had never met an FMM and all contact was done by correspondence,
she was determined that she was there to stay.
Missionary life
Cathy made her first vows in June 1948 and was sent to Orient Heights in East Boston, becoming one of
the original group who closed that house and opened the then Kennedy Memorial Hospital in 1949. She
made her final vows in 1951 and continued to work at KMH, now known as Franciscan Hospital for
Children, with mentally and physically handicapped children until September 1952 when she began
studies at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital School of Nursing.
She graduated in 1955 and immediately began studies at Boston College, graduating in 1958. She was
then sent to St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn as Director of Nursing. She spent eleven years at St. Francis
Hospital until the long awaited day of her being sent in mission to Indonesia in 1969. Cathy spent
sixteen years in Indonesia, fourteen of which were on her beloved Island of Flores. She visited and cared
for the sick in their village homes.
Cathy was sent to the United States in 1986 to help care for her mother.
During that time her visa for Indonesia expired and she was not able to obtain a renewal.
She was missioned to Holy Family community in North Providence, RI. where she helped in the care of
our elderly sisters. After two years she was missioned to Hazlehurst, GA, working as a transcriptionist in
the clinic.
Her next mission was to St. Bonaventure Indian Mission in Thoreau, NM. where she was involved with
the Montessori Program. Then she was sent in mission to Oakland/San Francisco in a ministry serving the
Catholic Indonesian Community in that area. She served eight years in that ministry until declining health
required her being sent in mission to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary Assisted Living Residence in
North Providence, RI and finally to St. Antoine’s Residence for further health care.
In one of her last writings she wrote:
“Community life, active participation in it, … are very important to me.” She gave priority to the family
spirit which she said had always attracted her so much in the Institute – “sharing joys, sorrows, and hopes
with one another, even though oceans may separate us.”