I write to you from my office in Reading Hospital as we prepare to celebrate discharging our 300th Covid-19 survivor on his 50th birthday. This is a celebration of life and a testimony to the extraordinary strength and compassion that is inside each of us. The upending of our lives that has occurred in the last 60 days is nearly unimaginable, but through this time we have witnessed great acts of compassion and caring. The sidewalk chalk artists remind us, as we arrive to work, that we are super heroes; the donations of PPE, handmade masks, various care items and food has been unending and serves to nurture our souls; the “virtual visits” that help to lift our patients spirits sharing the enormity of the task of caring when families can’t visit; the special notes of support that arrive everyday in the mail reminding us we are not alone, all these actions and many more serve to “reveal God’s love in the midst of uncertainty”.
When I reflect at the end of each day, I am deeply grateful that I had the privilege to receive a Sacred Heart Education. St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, when she arrived in New Orleans in 1818, faced great uncertainty and an immense challenge, as she set out to establish the Sacred Heart Network in the New World. I remember attending the 200th Anniversary Mass in New Orleans and while her story was recounted wondering if I would be able to muster a fraction of her strength if called to do so. It is heartwarming to realize that each of us have followed her lead as we greet another day in this Covid-19 world, whether it is working from home, schooling from home, working as essential personnel or supporting others. Each of us has been well prepared for this challenge and benefit from the strength of the amazing women who have come before us.
I look forward, with excitement, to the day when we can once again gather together in front of the Mater Window in fellowship. Be well and be blessed.
Dawn Jones Anuszkiewicz, ’88, having recently relocated from New Orleans, LA, serves at the COO at Reading Hospital in Reading, PA, a billion dollar hospital, Level 1 Trauma Center, with the 10th busiest Emergency Department in the US.