Xavier sisters unite during lockdown


Anne Kopp

(Left to right) Sister Lynn Winsor, Sister Isabel Conchos, Sister Joan Fitzgerald, Sister Lillian Lila and Sister Joanie Nuckols attending a 7 a.m. Mass in the Chapel of Our Lady.

Yulianna Gomez, Faith In Action Editor

Times of crisis tend to bring people together. The lockdown in late March last year caused schools and businesses to close leaving everyone at home. During this period many families took the time to bond and grow closer in relationship, and convents were no different. 

Fellow sisters become one’s family and community life which involves prayer, sharing meals, and gathering together, essentials to religious life.

Xaver’s sisters spend much time together of course, but because they are heavily involved in running many different sports, clubs and activities, their time together as a whole is limited. Sister Lynn Winsor, Xavier College Preparatory’s athletic director, said, “During lockdown, we all got to know each other more and do things we rarely do, like eat dinner together.” 

The most important thing that the sisters gained over lockdown was an increase in their time at the chapel and time spent in daily prayer.

Sister Joanie Nuckols, Xavier College Preparatory’s principal, said, “We got to pray more in the evening and at night time, and we also had Mass more frequently in the convent.”

The sisters also bonded by playing games on the weekends. “Sister Lilian assembled a giant puzzle and we played Jeopardy together which we’ve never done before,” said Winsor.

The sisters’ new puppy, Socks, which they adopted in December, has brightened up the convent. “Sister Mary Lou and I walk our dog Socks after our evening prayers and we get time to catch up with the day’s activities,” said Sister Isabel Conchos

“For many people covid was a unifying experience, especially because of its ramifications. Many of the students I asked said the same thing. Most of their families never really ate dinner together. It was the same for us. Everyone got to know each other better,” said Winsor.

“Overall the amount of laughter has increased a lot which is very important when living together,” said Nuckols.

Now that all sports and club activities have resumed, the sisters are back to their hectic schedules. “I cherish the quality time we spent together during lockdown,” said Winsor. 

Sister Isabel said, “I am grateful for my Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary community. I could not imagine a nicer group of people to be quarantined with during a pandemic. With a special sense of gratitude to our loving God who does not change, and in His infinite goodness, He continues to be the center of our lives.”