By Brother Robert Green, CFX
DANVERS, MA – A red sign in the window of the front door of Xaverian House is the first indication of “something different” going on these days. It says, “Please, no visitors until it is safe for us to welcome you.” The sign then proposes prayers and indicates that deliveries should go to a side door. Other than going for walks on the campus of St. John’s Prep, the community has been following instruction to stay inside, with a few reminder signs on exterior doors.
In many ways, the residents’ normal life can continue with few noticeable changes. The Brothers’ dedicated nursing, cooking, and housekeeping staff members continue their care, all choreographed by Nurse Robin Rowell. Because of the relatively small size of the community, several Masses a week are still offered by Fathers Robert O’Grady and James Morris, and the Brothers are reminded that most Catholics around the world are deprived of liturgies during these uncertain times. Some accessed a recent Xaverian Brothers Zoom Prayer Service, the script of which was used for the community Evening Prayer, including the opportunity to share thoughts and feelings. For those able to attend, the community had the custom of Eucharistic Adoration on Thursdays. Because of the temporary prohibition on visitors, members of the community are attempting to keep in touch with family, friends and confreres by telephone, email, letters and private and community prayer. The weekly Barnsider newsletter offers the Brothers special prayer intentions, reminds them of the schedule, and provides such advice as “wash frequently with warm water and soap; it’s more effective than hand sanitizer.”