Shillong (India) The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the Communities of Immaculate Heart Province (INS) are working hard to reach the families and people affected by the blockage of activities due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The main actions consist in the distribution of food products such as rice, dhal, potatoes, onions, oil, bread, vegetables, food items, and other essential products for workers who are stuck and unable to return home, for children of the evening school families, the sick, orphans, persons housed in the House of the Missionaries of Charity, the very poor families in the internal villages, and the widows who live in absolute poverty. About 250 families benefited from the FMA initiative.
Second, the FMA, together with some collaborators, sewed protective masks and brought them to the diocese, the heads of the villages, the local Administration, and the District Center of Commerce and Industries of Meghalaya (DCIC) for free distribution to those who need it most. So far 11,350 protective masks have been sewn and delivered.
Two communities in the province have offered quarantine spaces: the Auxilium Care and Support Center in Nongstoin and the Auxilium Mawtnum High School in Nongpoh, both in the state of Meghalaya. Two FMA nurses serve on the telephone support line 108 of Meghalaya state headquarters, offering online advice to citizens of the state, and another FMA nurse offers help in the Nongstoin quarantine center.
Financial aid was sent to the Prime Minister of Meghalaya’s Emergency Fund through the Archdiocese of Shillong. The schools and provincial realities based in the city of Shillong keep in touch with teachers and students through some online activities and communications. The Provincial Visit to the Communities was also carried out online, thanks to the technology that allows breaking down the barriers due to distancing and lockdown.
In addition to all these activities, the FMA of the Communities of the Province spend more hours in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and participate in online prayer moments to invoke God to stop the spread of the virus. Most of the communities joined the prayer of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CBCI) to consecrate the nation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Easter Sunday, led by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, and to the prayer led by the Prime Minister of the State of Meghalaya, Shri Conrad K. Sangma.
This particular historical period offers the FMA numerous opportunities to live the call of the 24th General Chapter to be “Communities that generate life in the heart of contemporaneity”.