Second Wave of Covid-19 Hits Catholic Church Religious Communities

It is with great sadness and shock that we announce the death of six sisters from the Daughters of Saint Francis in Port Shepstone, Marianhill Diocese. Sisters Elmara Skhakhane FSF, Leonissa Nzimande FSF (78), Colleta Msomi FSF (78), Anastasia Mthetwa FSF (86), Amara Madlala FSF (75), Edmunda Nkomo FSF (80) and Helen Cele (88) passed away as a result of Covid 19.  The sisters all died within a period of a week, from 10-17 December 2020.  Fifteen other sisters are said to be critically ill. 

Sisters Elmara Skhakhane FSF and Leonissa Nzimande have already been buried. Sisters Colleta Msomi FSF, Anastasia Mthetwa FSF, and Amara Madlala FSF will be buried on Saturday 19th December in Port Shepstone at 10am. 

At a time and season of Advent hope, this certainly comes as a deep wound to the Church, the Congregation and the Conference at large.  This is a very painful reminder that the scourge of Covid19 is yet to lessen its devastation to communities and society at large. As the Leadership Conference of Consecrated Life we are deeply hurt by the loss of lives under this spell of Covid19. We send not only consolatory messages to the Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Francis but also urge 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 defense against the virus and the least we can do is to continue adhering to the safety protocols of Covid19 prevention and containment especially as most people and communities gather for the celebration of the festive season and beyond.

Our prayers go to the Daughters of Saint Francis and all religious congregations and personnel infected and affected by this scourge.  May the souls of the sisters, the religious and all the faithful who have lost the battle to Covid19, through the mercy of God, Rest in eternal peace.

Sr Nkhensani Shibambu CSA
President of LCCLSA
Issued 18 December 2020