GNSHappenings-April 2020

Written on: May 1, 2020

Warm Welcome to Beth Greiner!

The Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart are happy to welcome Beth Greiner to our Sisters’ Care Team. Beth is a Licensed Practical Nurse with six years of experience. She began working for the Sisters of the Redeemer as a “kitchen girl” during her high school years. After obtaining her LPN, she worked for the Holy Redeemer Health System. Beth began her employment with us just as everything started to be shut down by Gov. Wolf in Pennsylvania.

Beth is recently engaged and planning an October wedding– provided “Corona” doesn’t interfere! She enjoys spending time with family, especially her nieces and nephew.

When asked about her hopes in this new position, Beth replied, “I am looking forward to connecting with the Sisters and learning about them on a personal level to be able to provide them with the best care possible.”

We are so happy to have you join us, Beth, and know that you will bring not just your training, but your compassionate and sunny nature to all that you do!


Recently,  our Associates were asked to share some of the blessings they have given and received during this time, and we have included some of what they shared for you to enjoy and be inspired.

Mimi Palkovics—I’ve been writing notes to elderly friends, calling those unable to get out in the fresh air, face timing my family especially the grandchildren and the nieces and nephews {esp. those who are doctors and nurses]. I have delivered meals thru the HOPE group at St. Andrew’s [ Helping Other People Everyday].  Saying a daily rosary and chaplet of mercy for those with COVID-19.

Angel Conicelli– I care for someone at an Independent Living facility. Recently, I made up colorful little notes with inspirational sayings. I taped Spring-color-wrapped Lindt chocolate bonbons to the notes, then placed each note on the shelves outside the doors of the residents. The residents also received handmade cards that my sister made for them.

Joe Tebo-  I am trying to call people, especially the elderly, to make sure they are doing fine during this time of COVID-19.

Sandy Burke-  I love doing genealogy and have helped a couple people with their searches. I was also the recipient of some fun things my friends were doing.  One day when I looked out my front door. there on the porch was a goody bag!  My friend had left a package of paper towels and Easter salt and pepper shakers!  Another day I looked out and another friend had left a lunch for me!  Homemade Pinto Beans, Jalapeno cornbread and cookies!  How fun is that???

Mary Jane Key- I have been sewing face masks. Right now I’m working on a bunch for Child Protection Services.  I’m OK with the adult size masks, but I’m having issues with the child size ones!


On April 22 about 30 people, Sisters, Associates and colleagues joined a Zoom prayer experience for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It was a wonderful way to pray together and see one another!

Circle the City With Love (CCWL) also took a new form this year when people were asked to sit or stand in silence on Sunday April 26 on a porch, at their front door, or inside. Quite different from the large circle of people we are used to!


Our staff members have been emailing each other weekly about “non-work” news. Evelina and Diane are making sure everyone has a few laughs during this stressful time with memes and funny lines. Debbie found a source for handmade masks and ordered them for the Sisters. We’ve all been trying to keep in touch by phone, email and mail with the Sisters. Carolyn, who was in charge of ordering our Friday lunch, feels lost without her weekly adventure to Domenics, Panera or BajaFresh (they probably miss us too!) We’ve decided we’ll need an extra long lunch to catch up when we return (I think Leadership will be okay with that– don’t you?)

GNSH SISTERS-Submitted by Sr. Eileen White

Although we have been physically isolated with one another, the Sisters like many others have found ways to connect with each other and with the wider world.

Since April 1st, many of the seventeen Grey Nuns who live at The Plaza, as well as several neighbors, “meet” during this Corona Virus time, out on our balconies at 8 p.m. each evening, or at least see each other’s flashlight beams. The motive? Through the creative imagination of Sister Diane Bardol, and the energetic commitment of many Greys, we came up with the idea of shining a flashlight in the dark to symbolize our desire to BE a light in the pandemic darkness. We invited our neighbors on every floor of the Plaza through an elevator flyer to join us for a minute and a half of silent connection and prayer at 8 o’clock each evening.  Some of us more forgetful types have an alarm set for 7:58 each night to remind us! When we began, it was quite dark and our flashlights made a startling light from many different balconies. Now, as sunset is later and later, the beam of the flashlight is sometimes pretty dim, but as they say, the beat goes on! We continue to connect, to pray, and to delight in “meeting” each other in this safe but nonetheless effective way of saying, “Hello! – We’re still  here! Stay well and stay safe!” 

We are united in prayer especially for those who are infected with the virus and those who are working to care for all of us, especially medical workers who are nearest the sick.

During Holy Week and Easter Grey Nuns at the Plaza played ‘Easter Bunny’.  Each time we’d open our door we’d find a chocolate treat or jelly beans or bunny cookies or homemade bran muffins or Easter napkins and note cards or whatever with simple hand made greetings from some thoughtful Grey Nun.  This pandemic resurrected in us a simplicity of life we knew (some of us who are older, that is) in the novitiate and ancient times.  It was fun and touching and Holy somehow.  Those of us on the receiving end, as well, I suspect,  as the creative givers, felt the hope and joy of the Easter mantra:  Christ is risen.  Indeed He is risen!


On April 28, 2020, A bagpiper from the Police and Fireman Bagpipe Band led a group of residents and staff in a walking parade around the property of Holy Redeemer Lafayette. The parade was to honor and thank all our own heroes from every department who work at Lafayette on our own “front line”. We celebrate with much gratitude all that they do for us! Thanks and Blessings to all!

Sisters Mary Elizabeth, Jean Scharf, and Mary Salvadore participated in the walk.


Happy Birthday and Feast Day  to our Sisters who will celebrate their special day in May:  Sr. Frances William Avery(8);  Sr. Mary McMahon (29); and  Sr. Mary Charlotte Barton (31– FD)

May the year ahead hold many blessings for each of you!

One thought on “GNSHappenings-April 2020

  1. Barbara Gorga (McGrath D'YC '72) says:

    Love your newsletter!.

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