*Check back here for up to date information on how our ministries are adapting during the coronavirus pandemic*

Ministry Responses to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Action Plans

May 14, 2020

St. Mary’s Health Clinics continues to conduct virtual meetings and distribute medication three days a week. An emergency fund was started to support families affected by job losses and those barred from receiving government help. There have been many wonderful local organizations that have stepped up to donate to the clinics and support their essential workers – thank you for continuing to support the clinics and please keep its staff in your prayers.

Sarah’s… an Oasis for Women is still practicing safe social distancing measures and take turns cooking in the kitchen so public spaces are as healthy as possible. Most residents cannot yet return to work.

Learning In Style School has established an emergency fund for school families and a community food shelf has replaced the clothes closet that once existed in the garage. Teachers continue to check-in with their students weekly and encourage them to keep going with their studies. Want to contribute to the food shelf and help feed a family in need? Contact Martha Nemesi at mnemesi@lisschool.org.

The St. Joseph Worker Program continues to support their workers from afar with special food deliveries and virtual Sharing of the Heart. The workers have stayed busy with their #conventclub and researching ways to help alleviate food insecurity in their neighborhood.

Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality sends out two weekly emails full of inspiring quotes, coloring activities, prayers and meditations.

The Justice Commission is asking people to raise their voices and take action for justice. If you are able, call or email your two U.S. Senators and ask them to support the Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act. Call and/or email Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Tina Smith if you live in Minnesota. The Justice Commission is also asking you to call or email your U.S. Congress person and ask them to also support HR 6437 – Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Action.

The Community Garden, through Celeste’s Dream, is following MN COVID-19 Operational Recommendations for Community Gardens and has a plan in place to keep garden volunteers safe and healthy starting June 1. Sign up to volunteer and help to provide a sense of community and healing for our earth.

April 3, 2020

St. Mary’s Health Clinics have clinic hours twice a week along with medication pick-up. When possible, patients are receiving food donations from the St. Kate’s food shelf.

Sarah’s… an Oasis for Women is monitoring its residents closely and has established a wellness call care list. Its annual fundraiser, Sarah’s “Welcome Home” Breakfast, has been canceled.

Learning In Style School is closed until further notice and sent their advanced students home with independent learning packets. The school has become a collection site for food and supplies needed by students and their families.

The St. Joseph Worker Program is responding to emergency needs in their community and working to combat food insecurity. One worker is still at their placement site twice a week.

Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality is sending out ‘Be a Compassionate Neighbor’ emails twice a week and is looking into uploading more online classes and presentations.

The Justice Commission is encouraging people to call their legislators and urge them to include emergency services and funding to all vulnerable Minnesotans.

The Community Garden, through Celeste’s Dream, is working with St. Kate’s Food Insecurity Project to ensure that students have the food they need during this time.

March 25, 2020

Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality (WW)

  • There will be an E-newsletter sent twice a week with hope-filled messages and will included images, poems, art reflections, prayers, spiritual reflections, writing prompts and previously recorded programming. Sign up here to get on their newsletter list.
  • All in person events, classes and presentations have been canceled – staff has reached all registrants via email or phone call.
  • Increase in online classes and possibilities are being considered – stay tuned!
  • WW is planning with the faculty of its two-year program – Transforming Soul and Society – as to the ways it will engage monthly with the class of 24 people.

Sarah’s… an Oasis for Women
At Sarah’s, their ultimate commitment through this pandemic is to provide peace of mind for residents, staff, and their families by striving to provide the safest environment possible. Cheryl Behrent, Sarah’s Director, is monitoring and following all necessary infection control guidelines and protocols as recommended by the CDC, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the CSJ community.

  • Cheryl has developed temporary policies and benefits that will support staff through this crisis. To that end, the staff is working remotely. For residents, she continues to make adjustments in order to protect their health because they are particularly vulnerable in times of crisis.
  • Sarah’s will not be accepting new residents or in-kind donations until further notice. It will be closed to the public for the foreseeable future.
  • Residents are practicing social distance and are staying home unless they have an essential responsibility off-site. They are wearing gloves, as they always do, for cleaning and cooking.
  • Cheryl has established a “call care list” so she can personally track the mental health and well-being of current residents, volunteers, and staff. She is also contacting donors, CSJ Sisters, Consociates and friends of Sarah’s who live alone to make sure they are staying healthy.
  • What can others do?
    • Make a financial contribution online to help sustain Sarah’s, provide nutritious food, and access to medical care for residents.
    • Order and mail needed items from Sarah’s online wish list.
    • Remember them in your prayers.
  • Sarah’s “Welcome Home” Breakfast Buffet and Benefit has been postponed.

St. Mary’s Health Clinics (SMHC)
An email was sent to all volunteers regarding the SMHC plan for clinic schedule during the COVID-19 crisis. No clinics were scheduled the end of last week.  This new plan will begin the week of March 23, 2020 per instruction and guidance from Dr. Lois Lenarz, SMHC Medical Director.

Medicine pick up and minimal appointment will be at the following 2 sites:

  • Wednesdays
    1. 1:00-4:30 (staff and provider arrival – 12:30)
    2. 15 minute time slots for med pick-ups
    3. 30 minute time slots for appointment if necessary, these visits will only be for persons who must be physically seen and examined by a provider
    4. Patients will be screened in advance and on arrival to clinic for any communicable disease
    5. Provider duties are:
      1. Medication ordering as per usual clinic procedure
      2. Review patient medication record and confirm medications as ordered
      3. Provider will arrive at clinic at 12:30 to review charts for medication distribution
      4. It is anticipated that direct care visits will be minimal
      5. If there are no direct care visits your time commitment will be less
  • Thursdays
    1. 1:00 – 4:30 (staff and provider arrival – 12:30)
    2. 15 minute time slots for med pick-ups
    3. 30 minute time slots for appointment if necessary
    4. Provider duties are:
      1. Medication ordering as per usual clinic procedure
      2. Review patient medication record and confirm medications as ordered
      3. Provider will arrive at clinic at 12:30 to review charts for medication distribution
      4. It is anticipated that direct care visits will be minimal
      5. If there are no direct care visits your time commitment will be less

St. Joseph Worker Program

  • The St Joseph Worker Program is adjusting to the current realities and following the lead of the Sisters of St Joseph and CDC guidelines, including staff working from home and following recommended ways to help stop the spread of the virus.
  • All of the St Joseph Workers are serving remotely from their St Joseph Worker Community home with the exception of one Worker who is serving at an emergency shelter in person two days a week. The Workers are also investigating urgent needs- like food distribution – in their community to respond to the needs of this time.
  • The St. Joseph Worker staff is in regular contact with the other SJW locations in New York City and Orange and Los Angeles, CA, along with other year of service programs nationally to share updates, best practices and support.

Learning In Style School (LIS)

  • LIS is closed from March 17 until April 13.
  • LIS was scheduled to be on Spring break 3/27 – 4/03, so this closure adds 11 non-teaching days.
  • The more advanced students were sent home with independent learning packets.
  • All English teachers have been asked to stay in touch with their students during this time.